News of the World Also Spied on Its Victims' Lawyers

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It turns out News of the World not only invaded the private lives of those it phone hacked, but also the lives of the lawyers hired to represent the phone-hacked in "an attempt to gather evidence for false smears about their private lives, The Guardian's Nick Davies reports. According to Davies, the now-defunct News Corp. newspaper commissioned a special investigator by the name Derek Webb to spy on Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris, two of the lawyers representing different phone-hacking victims. "The investigator secretly videoed Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris as well as family members and associates," Davies writes. So what kind of dirty dirt did ace secret agent Derek Webb tape? Not much, according to Davies: 

For reasons which are not yet clear, he focused on Lewis's former wife and secretly filmed her home in Manchester, following her and making further video of and her daughter as they visited local shops and a garden centre.  

Visting local shops and a "garden centre [sic]." Scandalous. As for Harris, the second lawyer?

Webb was tasked to find evidence that she was having an affair with a Manchester solicitor. The allegation was false; Harris had never met the solicitor in question.

The only really scandalous thing to come out of this story is, of course, the fact that News of the World would spy on their accusers' lawyers in the first place. That's an irony that James Murdoch--who headed News International, the paper's parent company, while the spying occurred--will likely have to address when he speaks before Parliament again this Thursday.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.