Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was arrested for intercepting voicemails for the News of the World in 2007, has been ordered to release the names of the people who ordered him to hack the phones of six public figures by the end of next week.
The court order is the result of a lawsuit by Steve Coogan, a comedian and actor who has frequently shown up in tabloid pages. Coogan's lawyers argued that Mulcaire's disclosure would prove that phone hacking was taking place at an "industrial scale," according to the Guardian. Mulcaire lost an appeal against the court order, which he has been resisting since February.
Coogan said, "After six months of refusing to answer these questions I am pleased that Glenn Mulcaire has now finally been ordered to say who at the News of the World asked him to hack the mobile phones of Max Clifford, Sky Andrew, Gordon Taylor, Simon Hughes MP, Elle MacPherson and Jo Armstrong."
As one of the earliest actors implicated in the phone hacking scandal, Mulcaire holds key information in the investigation of News Corp. and News of the World. He was arrested for hacking the voice messages of aides to the royal family in 2007. At the time, the company threw Mulcaire and reporter Clive Goodman under the bus, arguing that phone hacking was limited to just those two.
This is the second development this week that indicates that Mulcaire could blow News Corp.'s defense wide open. On Thursday, Mulcaire sued News Corp. over the payment of his legal fees. The company had terminated an agreement to pay his legal fees after Rupert and James Murdoch testified in Parliament in July. Mulcaire is the target of dozens of civil suits filed by victims of phone hacking.
Mulcaire already challenged the company's claims of innocence earlier in August, when he claimed that he had been working "under the instructions of others." The company's management and top editors at the News of the World have denied knowing anything about phone hacking, despite mounting evidence against them.