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Milly Dowler's family set for £3m phone-hacking payout

By Cahal Milmo

The family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler have been offered nearly £3m by Rupert Murdoch's News International as the company tries to draw a line under the single most damaging incident in the phone-hacking scandal.

The huge payout comes after Mr Murdoch repeatedly apologised to her family - at a meeting in the summer - for the interception of her voicemails by the News of the World.

The disclosure in July that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire accessed Milly's mobile phone on behalf of the paper after her disappearance in March 2002 was a tipping point in the hacking saga, ultimately forcing the closure of the Sunday tabloid.

The revelation that messages were deleted from the Surrey schoolgirl's phone - thereby giving her family hope that she was still alive - sparked an unprecedented crisis in the Murdoch empire which was intensified by allegations that other victims of crime, including relatives of those killed in the 7/7 bombings and the 9/11 attacks, were also targeted for hacking.

The settlement cash will be divided between damages paid for the distress caused to her parents and sister, and a separate seven-figure sum which will be paid to charities chosen by the Dowler family.

The settlement dwarves payments made so far in the scandal.

Belfast Telegraph


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