News International announced Tuesday that it has found tens of thousands of new documents relating to phone hacking, the Guardian reports.
A lawyer for the company told a judge at a hearing for a phone hacking lawsuit that two "very large new caches" of documents, some containing "important material," had recently been discovered.
The documents could shed more light on the scale of the phone hacking operation that took place at the News of the World. It is not clear why they had not been discovered before. An earlier cache of about 2,500 emails was the basis for News Corp.'s initial claim that phone hacking at the News of the World was not widespread. (That claim has since been debunked, and there have been intensive arguments over what the emails actually revealed.)
They could also contain more information about the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone hacking. Mulcaire has said that he acted on "the instructions of others," and the names of some of the people who told him which phones to hack have been revealed to investigators, though not released to the public. During the same Tuesday hearing, it was revealed that the list ran to a whopping 68 pages.
The news of the new documents came on the same day that Parliament announced it had recalled James Murdoch to testify about his knowledge of the hacking operation, and about the discrepancies between his earlier testimony and that of top editors at the News of the World.