Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the center of the News Corp. phone hacking scandal, possibly hacked the voicemails of almost 5,800 individuals, Scotland Yard disclosed on Thursday.
The staggering number means that there could be more than 2,000 additional victims than the London police initially said there were.
Mulcaire went to jail in January 2007 for working with News Of The World reporter Clive Goodman to hack voicemails meant for three royal aides. Goodman also received jail time. From the investigation, it became widely known that the investigator kept meticulous notes and records of the phone numbers he hacked and messages he intercepted. Some of those records have since been seized by police.
"The current number of potentially identifiable persons who appear in the material, and who may therefore be victims, where names are noted, is 5,795," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.
In August 2011, Mulcaire, who is reportedly being sued by over 60 phone hacking victims, filed a lawsuit against News Corp. for failing to pay for his legal fees. News Corp. had been paying Mulcaire's legal fees since 2007. The company terminated its longstanding agreement after Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch testified before Parliament in July.
In Ocotber 2011, James Murdoch wrote to Parliament that News International (the British subsidiary of News Corp.) will indeed pay for phone hacking related damages awarded to Mulcaire.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Mulcaire released a statement in late July about his involvement in the phone hacking scandal. He emphasized that he "acted on the instructions of others."
Below, view a timeline of the phone hacking scandal.