London, June 19: Reporters at the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World allegedly hacked the emails of a key witness in a libel trial that the newspaper fought when Andy Coulson was editor, according to a report.
UK police told Fiona McGuire, a former escort girl who claimed she had an affair with the former Scottish parliamentarian Tommy Sheridan, that her personal emails were hacked in 2005.
A man with whom she was in email contact is understood to have been told he was also a victim of computer hacking by NOTW.
McGuire, 38, told the NOTW in 2004 that Sheridan had conducted an adulterous affair with her, and when Sheridan subsequently sued the newspaper for libel she told a court she took part in an orgy with Sheridan and three other people.
It has emerged that while the NOTW was preparing to fight the libel case, it allegedly hacked McGuire’s emails.
Steven Heffer, who represents McGuire in a phone-hacking claim, said the police have shown him evidence of her personal emails that have been apparently intercepted.
“There is evidence that [the emails] were passed around senior people at the News of the World in Scotland. I have seen two or three emails that refer to a journalist in Scotland and an editor in Scotland.” The Telegraph quoted Heffer, as saying.
“They were very personal emails between her and a third party. She has confirmed she didn’t give permission for the emails to be read and so has the other party involved,” he added.
Sheridan, 48, won his libel claim in 2006 and the NOTW was ordered to pay him 200,000 pounds. (ANI)