Private investigator Glen Mulcaire who played a key role in the News of the World hacking scandal has been ordered to reveal the names of the 17 celebrities on a “target list”.
Mr Justice Vos made the order after comedian Steve Coogan and football commentator Andy Gray asked the High Court to force Mucaire to reveal whether he hacked into their phone voicemails.
The two men plan to seek damages after the Metropolitan Police told them there was evidence that their phones had been hacked.
Mulcaire will have to divulge the names of the people whose phones he hacked, as well as revealing who asked for the information. Mulcaire has the right to appeal against the decision.
The aim of the ruling is to curb the growing number of legal claims being brought against Rupert Murdoch’s New of the World.
The list is believed to include publicist Max Clifford and Gordon Taylor, the former head of the Professional Footballers’ Association. The two men have both received payouts from the News of the World.
Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 for intercepting voicemail messages of members of the Royal Household. Before he was caged, police had seized Mulcaire’s notebooks which included a “target list”.
In the notebooks, police found the name “Clive” appearing on notes relating to the Royal Household. The name referred to royal editor Clive Goodman who was also jailed in 2007 for listening to the message of Prince William and Prince Harry’s aides.
Mulcaire had claimed that revealing the list would breach his right to avoid incriminating himself, but the judge has rejected this argument.
Fourteen people are suing over alleged phone hacking, including former English footballer Paul Gascoigne, politician George Galloway, actress Sienna Miller and interior designer Kelly Hoppen.