Murdoch paper 'sorry' for hacking scandal
'News of the World' publisher News International sought to draw a line under the phone-hacking scandal last night, apologising to a number of public figures, including actress Sienna Miller.
The company said it had instructed lawyers to set up a compensation scheme to deal with "justifiable claims" and said "past behaviour" at the newspaper was "a matter of genuine regret".
The dramatic announcement came after a number of well-known figures took High Court action over allegations of phone-hacking.
It is understood that along with Miller, the company has issued apologies to broadcaster Andy Gray.
News International said the move applied to allegations of voicemail hacking at the 'News of the World' from 2004 to 2006.
In a statement, the company said: "News International has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability in cases meeting specific criteria.
"We have also asked our lawyers to establish a compensation scheme with a view to dealing with justifiable claims fairly and efficiently."
However, the company said it would continue to contest cases that it believed were without merit.
The controversy has been a source of continuing embarrassment for News International at a time when its parent group, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, has been seeking to take full control of BSkyB.