News of the World Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was jailed for six months in 2007 for phone hacking, today lost his legal battle to conceal the identity of journalists who commissioned him to hack into mobile phones.
Mulcaire had appealed in an attempt avoid being forced to reveal in civil proceedings that could incriminate him and others.
Today five judges unanimously dismissed his appeal to the Supreme Court and rejected his argument that he should be able to use privilege against self-incrimination in civil litigation at the High Court over who requested the illegal hacking of the phone of Nicola Phillips, an assistant to celebrity publicist Max Clifford.
This could now mean senior journalists are named as being behind the hacking of mobile phones belonging to celebrities and many others.
He said the appeal was made to protect his “legitimate legal interests” and that his lawyers had advised him he should not be forced by court orders to give “potentially incriminating answers” to questions asked in a civil case.
Mulcaire was jailed for six months, together with News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman, for his part in accessing messages left for members of the royal household.
At the time he surrendered notebooks to the police containing information about phone hacking, the BBC reports.
Mulcaire said in a statement after the ruling that he would comply with the court’s ruling and hand the details to Phillips’ lawyer.
However, it is not certain the public will get to hear the names as police or prosecutors may request that Phillips does not release the information if it is thought it could prejudice any criminal proceedings.
News of the ruling came as two men and a woman were arrested on this morning by police from Operation Elveden investigating allegations of corrupt payments made by newspapers to public officials.
The arrests by Scotland Yard officers bring the total of those arrested to 37.
Scotland Yard said that one of the three, a 46-year-old man, is a prison officer and was arrested at his home address in south-east London on suspicion of corruption, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and on suspicion to cause misconduct in a public office.
The second man arrested was described as aged 37 and was arrested at his home address in Morden, Surrey, on suspicion of corruption, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and on suspicion to cause misconduct in a public office.
Police also arrested a 50-year-old woman was arrested at a non-residential location in Kent in connection with the same three allegations All three are currently in custody at separate London police stations, the Guardian reports.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: “Today’s arrests relate to suspected payments to a public official and are not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately.”