News of the World hired investigators to spy on hacking victims' lawyers
Exclusive: Investigators followed and filmed lawyers of hacking victims in apparent attempt to gather material on private lives
The News of the World hired a specialist private investigator to run covert surveillance on two of the lawyers representing phone-hacking victims as part of an operation to put pressure on them to stop their work.
The investigator secretly videoed Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris as well as family members and associates. Evidence suggests it was part of an attempt to gather evidence for false smears about their private lives.
The News of the World also took specialist advice in an attempt to injunct Lewis to prevent him representing the victims of hacking and attempted to persuade one of his former clients to sue him.
The surveillance of Lewis and Harris occurred during the past 18 months, when Rupert Murdoch's son James was executive chairman of the paper's parent company, News International. He is due to give a second round of evidence to a House of Commons select committee on Thursday, and is likely to face intense questioning about the quality of his leadership.
A News International spokesperson said : "News International's enquiries have led the company to believe that Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris were subject to surveillance. While surveillance is not illegal, it was clearly deeply inappropriate in these circumstances. This action was not condoned by any current executive at the company."http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/no ... py-lawyers