Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed the News of the World last year, will be forced to reveal the name of the journalist who directed him to intercept phone messages. In a unanimous decision, five supreme court judges today ruled that Mulcaire must pass on information about how hacking targets were chosen and who his contacts at the paper were to the legal team representing Nicola Philips. Philips, a victim of phone-hacking was an assistant to publicist Max Clifford and is currently pursuing a claim for damages.
The decision puts an end to Mulcaire’s 20 month fight to avoid disclosing the potentially discriminating information. Mulcaire’s previous attempts to protect himself from requests to reveal details of his links with News of the World reporters had been ruled against by both the high court and the court of appeal. Mulcaire had attempted to invoke privilege against self-incrimination to avoid disclosing any details that "expose him to prosecution." When delivering today’s ruling Judge Lord Walker said: "The supreme court unanimously dismisses Mr Mulcaire's appeal. Section 72 of the [Senior Courts Act] excludes his privilege against self-incrimination: the proceedings brought by Ms Phillips are 'proceedings for … rights pertaining to …intellectual property' and the conspiracy proceedings to which Mr Mulcaire would expose himself on disclosure of the information amount to a 'related offence'."