- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LONDON — The wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair is suing Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper company over phone hacking, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Cherie Blair was suing “in relation to the unlawful interception of her voice mails,” lawyer Graham Atkins said in an email, making her one of the most high-profile people to have challenged Murdoch’s News International over the illegal eavesdropping campaign waged against politicians, celebrities, athletes and others in the public eye.

Details of Blair’s claim were not immediately made public Wednesday. Atkins said he would not be commenting further on the case.

Murdoch was left with little choice but to close the News of the World tabloid in July following revelations that it had hacked into the phone of a missing schoolgirl who was later found murdered. Since then, police have made almost 40 arrests — including many well-known reporters — over phone hacking and in connection to related inquiries into the payment of bribes to public officials and email hacking.

Millions have been paid out by Murdoch’s company so far in out-of-court settlements to about 60 victims of hacking.

Murdoch’s News International did not immediately return a message seeking comment. A Blair spokesman also declined comment.

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