Clive Goodman, the News Corp. (NWSA:US) royal reporter who served a jail sentence for phone hacking, told a London court that he hacked the phones of Princes William and Harry and Kate Middleton close to 200 times.
Clive Goodman, sent to jail in 2007 for hacking the phones of people connected to the royal family, accessed the voice mails of Prince Harry nine times, Prince William on 35 occasions and Middleton, William’s girlfriend at the time, 155 times, he said in court today. He returned to give evidence in the current phone-hacking trial after spending more than eight weeks recovering from an illness.
“I completely agree I hacked these people’s phones,” Goodman testified during questioning by Timothy Langdale, a lawyer representing Andy Coulson, another defendant in the trial. He said he was never asked directly about hacking their phones during any police investigation.
Goodman and Coulson are among seven people standing trial on charges including phone hacking and bribing public officials at the New York-based company’s U.K. newspapers. Goodman, 56, is one of two people who pleaded guilty to illegally accessing voice-mail messages in 2006 when the allegations first emerged at News Corp.
After Goodman’s incarceration, the scandal was reignited five years later amid the discovery that journalists at the weekly News of the World newspaper accessed messages on a murdered teenager’s phone. Company Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the tabloid in 2011 in a bid to temper public outrage.
Goodman, charged with paying public officials in exchange for stories in this trial, last gave evidence on March 21 and was cleared to resume today.
Middleton, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge, was of interest to the News of the World because of her growing profile as Prince William’s girlfriend, Goodman said today. The couple married in 2011.
Goodman said he intercepted the messages of members of the royal family and those who worked for them.
“I’m being honest and open,” he said.
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