LONDON (AP) — A private investigator convicted of hacking phones for a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid must reveal who at the newspaper ordered him to do it, Britain's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
Glenn Mulcaire was jailed briefly in 2007 for eavesdropping on the voicemail messages of royal aides on behalf of the now-defunct News of the World.
Hacking victims suing Rupert Murdoch's News International want Mulcaire to provide evidence for their cases. The case before the court relates to a lawsuit by Nicola Phillips, an assistant to PR guru Max Clifford, who claims her phone was hacked.
Mulcaire attempted to refuse to name names under laws that prevent self-incrimination, but five judges from the country's highest court unanimously rejected that argument.
The judges ruled that the defense against self-incrimination does not apply to "proceedings for infringement of rights pertaining to any intellectual property," and that Phillips' business voicemails fell into that category.
In a statement issued through his lawyer, Mulcaire said he would comply with the order, and would "consider with my lawyers what the wider implications of this judgment are, if and when I am asked to answer questions in other cases."
The judges did not set a deadline for Mulcaire to comply, but Phillips' lawyer Mark Lewis, said he expected him to reveal the name within the next three weeks.
Mulcaire and former royal reporter Clive Goodman are so far the only people convicted of illegal eavesdropping in a scandal that continues to shake Britain's media, police and political establishments.
The revelation that staff at the News of the World had routinely eavesdropped on the phones of people in the public eye in search of scoops led Murdoch to close down the 168-year-old newspaper, scuppered his bid for broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting and spawned a judge-led inquiry into media ethics and three major police investigations into media misbehavior.
More than 40 people have been arrested and several have been charged, including Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Murdoch's British newspaper division.
Police arrested three more people in early-morning raids Wednesday in connection with alleged bribery of police and other officials by journalists.
The Metropolitan Police did not name the suspects but said they were a 46-year-old man who is a prison officer, a 50-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man whom British media identified as a former journalist with the Mirror group — rival to Murdoch's newspapers. Previous journalist arrests have been of current or former News International employees.
Scotland Yard would not confirm the arrested man's identity but said that investigating officers "will follow where the evidence will take them. It has never been restricted to News International."