| LONDON, April 13
LONDON, April 13 Rupert Murdoch's Times of
London is facing a claim for exemplary damages after admitting
hacking into the email of an anonymous police blogger to expose
his identity, lawyer Mark Lewis told Reuters on Friday.
Lewis, of law firm Taylor Hampton and representing police
detective Richard Horton, said Horton had filed for misuse of
confidential information, breach of confidence and deceit at
London's High Court this week.
The Times exposed Horton as the author of the blog, in which
he wrote about police work under the name NightJack, in 2009.
Horton had sought an injunction to protect his anonymity but
lost his case.
Judge David Eady ruled that the unmasking of Horton was in
the public interest.
The Times did not disclose at the time that it had obtained
the information about Horton's identity through email hacking,
and its reporter implied he had discovered it through publicly
available information on the Internet.
Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers, part of his News Corp
media empire, are at the centre of several criminal
investigations for phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery.
The matter blew up into a national scandal last July when it
emerged that the News of the World tabloid had hacked into the
voicemails of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was later
Lewis, who is also the Dowler family's lawyer, said Horton
now contended he would have won his case had it been disclosed
that the information was obtained through email hacking, for
which there is no public interest defence.
"He would have got his injunction but for the false
evidence, and he would have been anonymous," Lewis said.
Horton is seeking aggravated damages and exemplary damages.
Lewis declined to estimate how large these might be, saying he
was not aware of any legal precedent.
The editor of the Times, James Harding, apologised in
February for the email hacking when he gave evidence to the
Leveson Inquiry, a judge-led inquiry ordered by Prime Minister
David Cameron at the height of the phone-hacking scandal.
The Times reporter, Patrick Foster, has left the newspaper.
Rupert Murdoch and his son James are also expected to be
called as witnesses to the Leveson Inquiry later this month.
News International, News Corp's British newspaper arm,
confirmed that the claim had been filed and declined to make any