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More hacking claimants contacted

News International has written to another nine claimants in the phone-hacking scandal asking them to provide further evidence journalists had intercepted their voicemails, it has emerged.

On Friday, eight people who had made claims against the News of the World, including actress Sienna Miller and former culture secretary Tessa Jowell, received apologies from the newspaper.

It has emerged that a further nine alleged victims had at the same time received letters asking them to provide further evidence to News International that they too were victims of phone-hacking.

Their claims will then be considered by lawyers at the News of the World's parent company before a decision is made on whether they too are entitled to an apology and compensation.

News International said Friday's announcement applied to allegations of voicemail hacking at the News of the World from 2004 to 2006.

It has been estimated that News International has set aside £20 million for pay-outs. The nine new letters "teed-up" the possibility of further admissions, sources said.

On Sunday, lawyer Charlotte Harris said up to 7,000 people may have had their mobile phone voicemails intercepted.

Ms Harris, who represents football agent Sky Andrew - one of those who has received an apology - said they would not accept a settlement from the newspaper until they had received full disclosure.

Last week, detectives conducting a criminal investigation into the allegations arrested the paper's chief reporter and its former head of news.

Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and Ian Edmondson, 42, were questioned by Scotland Yard detectives last Tuesday when they voluntarily attended separate police stations in south west London.


From Belfast Telegraph