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NoTW offers apologies, 'regret' over phone hacks

'Our pride in our journalism remains undiminished'

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Rupert Murdoch's UK tentacle News International, owner of the Sun, the Times and the News of the World titles, has expressed "genuine regret" regarding surveillance operations – specifically, voicemail interception – by staff at the NoTW.

In a statement supplied to the Reg, the company says:

News International has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability in cases meeting specific criteria...

... past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions then were not sufficiently robust ...

Despite this admitted failure to manage any proper investigation even among its own employees, the company goes on:

[Our] pride in our award-winning journalism remains undiminished. We will continue to engage with and challenge those who attempt to restrict our industry's freedom to undertake responsible investigative reporting in the public interest.

The firm says it will offer "damages appropriate to the extent of the intrusion" to those claimants whose privacy it admits the NoTW violated, but will "continue to contest cases that we believe are without merit or where we are not responsible" [our emphasis].

The statement also specifies that it relates only to "voicemail interception at the News of the World during 2004-2006".

The firm adds that it is still helping the Metropolitan Police with their enquiries in the matter. Though possibly not as much as the Guardian has. ®

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