- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LONDON (AP) - A British employment tribunal filing shows that News of the World’s chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck is claiming unfair dismissal from his former publisher, Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

News International said Wednesday it “will vigorously contest the case,” filed on Sept. 13. Thurlbeck is expected to claim he was sacked for whistleblowing in the phone-hacking scandal that brought down his tabloid.

A preliminary hearing will take place at the East London Tribunal Service center on Friday.

Murdoch’s News International had long maintained that the eavesdropping was limited to a single rogue reporter, Clive Goodman, and the private investigator he was working with to break into voice mails of members of the royal household.

But an email uncovered during legal proceedings seemed to cast doubt on that claim. It contained a transcript of an illegally obtained conversation, drawn up by a junior reporter and marked “for Neville” _ an apparent reference to Thurlbeck.

Thurlbeck, 50, was arrested in April on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and released on bail.

On Tuesday, he had his bail extended through the end of the year.