Phone-hacking evidence to be heard at high court from 21 November
witnesses including Milly Dowler's parents
Bob, Gemma and Sally Dowler, the family of
murdered school girl and alleged phone-hacking victim Milly
Dowler. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into phone hacking and media standards
expects to spend about three months from late November hearing evidence
The inquiry will start on 14 November at the high court in London, with
the first witnesses due to appear a week later on 21 November.
Victims of phone hacking will be the first to give evidence. After that
Leveson and his panel of six assessors, who include former Daily
Telegraph political editor George Jones and ex-Channel 4 News political
editor Elinor Goodman, will start to take evidence from other parties,
including newspaper editors and journalists.
At a high court hearing on Wednesday the inquiry team said it is likely
to hear from witnesses until next February. More than 60 individuals are
suing News International for alleged phone hacking, and the inquiry will
also take evidence from other witnesses on issues such as invasion of
The precise order in which witnesses will be called is unclear.
Phone-hacking victims include the parents of murdered teenager Milly
Dowler – who last week received £2m in compensation from News
International for the hacking of their daughter's voicemail messages by
the News of the World, plus a £1m donation from Rupert Murdoch to six
charities of their choosing.
Others due to give evidence to the inquiry include Sienna Miller, who
received £100,000 in damages and an apology from News International
earlier this year, and other alleged victims of phone hacking including
Lord Prescott, Abi Titmuss, Ulrika Jonsson and Labour MPs Chris Bryant
and Tessa Jowell.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling and the parents of Madeleine McCann are
also expected to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry about invasion of
privacy by the media.
They are among about 50 people who have applied for "core participant"
status at the Leveson inquiry. That gives them full access to all the
documents produced during the inquiry and entitles them to give evidence
in person or through a lawyer.
A case brought by a number of public figures taking civil action against
News International, including actor Steve Coogan and football agent Sky
Andrew, is also due to be heard at the high court in February.
That will ensure the activities of the UK arm of Murdoch's News
Corporation continue to be publicly scrutinised well into next year.
Murdoch and his son James, who is deputy chief operating officer at News
Corp, are facing criticism from investors over their handling of the
phone-hacking affair, which resulted in the closure of the News of the
World in July.
The Leveson inquiry is expected to take about a year to complete. It was
ordered by prime minister David Cameron in the wake of the hacking
That was prompted by a wave of public revulsion that followed
revelations in the Guardian that a phone belonging to Milly Dowler was
hacked on the instructions of the News of the World.
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