Wales

Hacking: Charlotte Church and Jacqui Hames witness bid

  • 5 October 2011
  • From the section Wales
Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church believes her phone was hacked

Charlotte Church could be among the first to give evidence at the inquiry into media ethics and phone hacking, if she is accepted as a witness.

The Cardiff-born singer and Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames want to be added to a list of inquiry core participants.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that Shaun Russell, whose daughter Josie survived a hammer attack, is suing News International for alleged hacking.

The inquiry, by Lord Justice Leveson, could start taking evidence next month.

Both Charlotte Church and Jacqui Hames claim they have been victims of hacking by News Group Newspapers and other "media wrongdoing".

It has now also been reported by the Guardian that Mr Russell was among a "raft of new claimants" who issued new writs on Monday.

Mr Russell and his daughter returned to live in Gwynedd after she survived an attack Kent in 1996 in which Josie's mother and younger sister died.

Earlier, the request on behalf of Charlotte Church and Jacqui Hames was made at the High Court, where a preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday.

David Sherborne, who represents a group of "victims", asked for the two celebrities to be added to the list of core participants because both had been victims of hacking by News Group Newspapers and other "media wrongdoing".

If the applications - which will be ruled on by Lord Justice Leveson at a later date - are successful, the total number of Core Participants in the inquiry will be 48.

Ethics and practices

Core participant status means a person will be represented by a barrister and can seek to cross-examine witnesses and make opening and closing statements.

A spokeswoman for the Cardiff-born singer and TV presenter said she could not comment further.

The group of core participants already includes actress Sienna Miller, PR guru Max Clifford, serving MPs, and Christopher Shipman, son of mass murderer Harold Shipman.

The Leveson Inquiry, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in July, aims to produce a report within a year.

The first part of the inquiry will look at the culture, ethics and practices of the press and its relationship with the police and politicians.

On Tuesday, Lord Justice Leveson said: "The present thinking is, and I am not committing to this, that we are unable to be likely to start before the second week in November."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites