Murdoch to pay Jude Law and others hacking damages

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The slew of settlements is one consequence of the revelations of phone-hacking and other illegal tactics at the News of the World, where journalists routinely intercepted voicemails of those in the public eye in a relentless search for scoops. The wide-ranging scandal prompted Murdoch to close the 168-year-old paper in July.

British politicians and police have also been ensnared in the scandal, which exposed the cozy relationship between senior officers, top lawmakers, and newspaper executives at Murdoch’s media empire. A government-commissioned inquiry set up in the wake of the scandal is currently investigating the ethics of Britain’s media _ and the nature of its links to police and politicians.

The settlements announced Thursday amount to more than half of the phone-hacking lawsuits facing Murdoch’s company, but the number of victims is estimated in the hundreds. Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many of the phone hacking victims, said in an email that the fight against Murdoch wasn’t over.

“While congratulations are due to those (lawyers) and clients who have settled their cases, it is important that we don’t get carried away into thinking that the war is over,” Lewis said. “Fewer than 1 percent of the people who were hacked have settled their cases. There are many more cases in the pipeline. … This is too early to celebrate, we’re not even at the end of the beginning.”

Ten further cases are due to go to court next month, though lawyers said more settlements are likely.

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Associated Press Writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.

Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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