PHONE hacking claims against the Mirror Group newspapers could involve hundreds of victims, and if proven, will leave the publisher facing a bill similar to the £300m (€356m) run up by Rupert Murdoch's News International, according to leading lawyers involved in the illegal newsgathering scandal.
Trinity Mirror confirmed it is the second British newspaper firm to be placed under police investigation over the alleged interception of voicemails, after it announced to the Stock Exchange it is the subject of a Scotland Yard inquiry to establish if the PLC and its senior directors may be held "criminally liable" for phone hacking.
The alleged internal conspiracy, which has already led to former senior journalists and editors being arrested on suspicion of hacking-related offences, was announced in line with the publicly-listed company's obligation to inform shareholders of any development that could have a material impact on its stock.
Although Trinity shares quickly dropped 6pc after the announcement, there was a partial recovery later.
The company said the police investigation was "at a very early stage" of examining if MGN, the subsidiary that publishes the Mirror's national daily and Sunday titles, were criminally liable for "alleged unlawful conduct by previous employees in relation to phone hacking at the 'Sunday Mirror'". .( ©Independent News Service)