| LONDON, March 20
LONDON, March 20 Rupert Murdoch's British
newspaper arm approved phone-hacking "on an industrial scale" at
its top-selling Sunday tabloid, the paper's former royal editor
told a London court on Thursday.
Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for hacking phones of
senior aides to Britain's royal family, made the allegation when
asked why he had not raised the issue of bullying at the News of
the World when he appealed against his dismissal following his
"That wasn't the grounds on which I was complaining about
unfair dismissal," Goodman told the court. "The company had
sanctioned phone-hacking on an industrial scale and they had
dealt with me unfairly compared to other people."
After his imprisonment, News Corp.'s British
newspaper arm News International stated publicly and in
parliament that phone-hacking was limited to Goodman, who they
described as a rogue reporter, and a private detective, Glenn
Mulcaire, who worked for the paper and was also jailed.
However four journalists, including three senior editorial
executives, have now admitted phone-hacking offences since a new
police inquiry was launched in 2011. This ultimately led to the
closure of the 168-year-old tabloid, rocked Murdoch's empire
and sent ructions through Britain's establishment.
Goodman and the paper's former editor Andy Coulson are on
trial accused of making corrupt payments to police officers to
obtain telephone directories of the royal household, charges
Coulson, who edited the paper from 2003 to 2007 before later
becoming Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, is also
accused of conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails on
He denies any knowledge of phone-hacking but under
cross-examination from Coulson's lawyer, Goodman told the court
that the editor knowingly approved payments to Mulcaire for his
royal hacking project and knew of his own criminal behaviour.
"Mr Coulson knew I was hacking them myself," he said.
He had previously told the court Coulson was a bullying and
aggressive editor and Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale queried
why this had not formed part of his unfair dismissal claim.
"It was unfair because my ultimate boss Mr Coulson had
sanctioned the project which had got me sent to prison," Goodman
Mulcaire was one of the sources Goodman had sought cash
payments for and the court was told that in total he had
requested more than 215,000 pounds ($357,500) in cash for his
contacts between 2001 and his arrest in mid-2006.
Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale suggested Goodman had been
pocketing the money himself, pointing out that between early
2004 and June 2006 he had not withdrawn any money from ATMs.
Langdale also said some stories for which some of his
sources had been paid had actually appeared in other
publications a few days earlier.
Goodman denied keeping any of the cash. The trial of
Goodman, Coulson and five others continues.
($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds)
(Editing by Andrew Roche)