The London-based daily paper The Times, part of News Corp.’s U.K.-based News International, has been sued by detective Richard Horton, whom the paper had exposed as the author of an anonymous police blog by hacking into his email, Horton’s lawyer told CNBC.com on Friday.
The Times is the third British newspaper belonging to News Corp. involved in a controversy regarding the hacking of emails and telephones after the now-closed News of the World and daily tabloid The Sun.
Horton is a Lancashire detective who was exposed by The Times in 2009 as the author of the blog NightJack, which won a prize for political blogging. He tried to stop his identity from being revealed, but a judge ruled that The Times could go ahead and publish the information.
In February, the editor of The Times, James Harding, admitted in his evidence to the Leveson inquiry — an inquiry into press standards set up in the wake of the hacking scandals — that the email hacking was withheld from the judge who ruled that Horton’s identity could be revealed.
“It’s a serious matter,” Patrick Daulby, consultant at Taylor Hampton, Horton’s lawyer, told CNBC.com.
Taylor Hampton filed the suit against The Times on behalf of their client claiming “damages for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and deceit including claims of aggravated and exemplary damages,” Daulby said.
Representatives of News International did not respond to a CNBC.com request for comment.