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Hack probe duo in unfair sack claim

Two former senior journalists at the News of the World have launched claims for unfair dismissal against the paper's publishers.

Ex-assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson and ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck have both lodged employment tribunal papers against News International, a source said.

Detectives arrested Edmondson, 42, and Thurlbeck, 50, in April on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages while working at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

Edmondson was sacked in January after being linked to the phone hacking scandal in legal documents filed with the High Court, and Thurlbeck lost his job earlier this month.

A preliminary hearing in Thurlbeck's case will take place at the East London Employment Tribunal on Friday, at which the journalist will claim he was a whistleblower, a source said.

Thurlbeck's alleged role in the scandal has been closely scrutinised after details emerged of an email sent in June 2005 which was headed "for Neville" and contained transcripts of illegally intercepted phone messages.

The email, which surfaced in April 2008, seemed to contradict News International's previous stance that phone hacking was confined to a single "rogue reporter".

Meanwhile, Thurlbeck, Edmondson and former News of the World senior reporter James Weatherup, 55, have all had their police bail extended until March next year.

They were the first of 16 people arrested since Scotland Yard launched a fresh investigation into illegal activities at the tabloid in January.


From Belfast Telegraph