Tuesday 22 November 2011

'Phone hacking has tarnished honest journalists'

Solicitor Mark Lewis, who is representing Milly Dowler's family and other victims of phone hacking, says honest journalists have been tarnished by the scandal.

He has also given examples of cases where he believes hacking by journalists could be justified in the public interest.

Writing for the ExaroNews website, Lewis argues that people should realise there were many victims of the scandal:"The people whose phones were hacked; the people who worked for the News of the World who were not involved but lost their jobs; the readers who lost their paper; the honest journalists who are tarnished by the activities of those who broke the law; and, most of all, the population who need the fourth estate to expose the impropriety of the powers that be."

Lewis adds: "Imagine a journalist who has a story that there there has been corruption or illegality; a politician that lies about a matter that could take us to war; or a court official taking bribes to stop the prosecution of speeding motorists. If hacking a phone could confirm this, then surely that would be a good thing."

He said the law was broken for "celebrity tittle-tattle" or the intrusions into grief of crime victims.

But: "If it were in the public interest, then there would be a justification for doing it. Define the public interest, and create a public interest defence."

Lewis is giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry tomorrow.

Pic: Mark Lewis (Jon Slattery)

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