News Corp in bugging claim

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been hit by a fresh wave of allegations of illegal bugging and fraud as part of a vicious legal tit-for-tat involving its satellite broadcasting know-how.

The battleground is in Israel, but the repercussions have been felt around the world to London, Mr Murdoch's home turf in Australia, and New York, where a $650m flotation of his TV technology arm has been stalled.

Today Michael Clinger, a former executive of News Corp's supplier of smartcards to BSkyB, will go to the High Court in Jerusalem to seek leave to sue the media mogul internationally.

Mr Clinger is claiming damages over alleged wire-tapping, following the emergence of tapes of privileged conversations between himself and his solicitors.

The tapes were allegedly found in the safe of Abe Peled, the head of Mr Murdoch's Israeli-based firm, News Datacom Research (NDR), during a raid by Israeli tax investigators last October.

NDR is the source of BSkyB's crucial "Videocrypt" technology, the satellite codes that allow it to restrict broadcasts to subscribers.

News Corp denies the allegations, saying they are part of a campaign to embarrass it into dropping a pounds 20m UK lawsuit against its former employee.

But in the London High Court this week, its lawyers will press for an early trial - perhaps June or October - that might yet see Mr Murdoch take the stand.

"The whole purpose of all these allegations is to stop us recovering our losses," said Genie Gavenchak, News Corp's deputy legal counsel.

"He is trying to get some court somewhere to say we can't prosecute our action against him, because he knows he's going to lose."

News Corp is suing Mr Clinger for allegedly conspiring to inflate the price of smartcards up to late 1995.

As revealed in the Independent on Sunday last November, it has uncovered firms in Switzerland, Liberia, Panama and other tax havens through which the rake-off allegedly took place.

Since then, Mr Clinger's main co-defendant, Indian-born businessman B K Marya - whose firms made the cards - has settled with Mr Murdoch.

The terms remain confidential, but he is understood to have paid a seven- figure sum and given an affidavit supporting News Corp's case.

Early in February, Mr Clinger's City solicitors Clifford Chance also resigned.

The Murdoch camp argues there is no coincidence between these moves and the latest bugging claims. Allegations of tax evasion have also been drummed up by Mr Clinger, it says.

Speaking from Jerusalem this weekend, Mr Clinger denied suggestions he had planted tapes of his own conversations with his advisers at NDR.

"All this is hogwash that it is all manipulation by me," he said. "The Israeli government has a good case and is pursuing it."

Newcastle players celebrate, Mario Balotelli scores, Alan Pardew and Brendan Rodgers
footballNewcastle vs Liverpool , Arsenal vs Burnley, Chelsea vs QPR and Everton vs Swansea
i100Amazing Amazon review bomb
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
travelPurrrfect jet comes to Europe
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch attends the London premiere of his new film The Imitation Game
people He's not as smart as his characters
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities