Hacked Off attorney won multimillion-pound case using hacked messages as evidence

Using evidence from hacked emails, a prominent attorney who works against media hacking won a multimillion-pound High Court case.

Hugh Tomlinson, KC, is the chairman of the pressure group Hacked Off, which was established in response to the phone-hacking crisis and assists victims of ‘press abuse’ whose private information has been taken.Hugh Tomlinson, KC, is chairman of the pressure group Hacked Off which helps victims of 'press abuse' who have had private data stolen, following the phone-hacking scandal (file image)

An investigation by The Sunday Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed, however, that his client, the state of Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, utilized allegedly hacked material in a case against the American-Iranian businessman Farhad Azima. Allegedly, Mr. Azima’s emails were obtained by an Indian “hack for hire” group.

Following the phone-hacking incident, Hugh Tomlinson, KC, is the chairman of the pressure group Hacked Off, which assists victims of ‘press abuse’ who have had their private information taken (file image)

The inquiry uncovered evidence that a former officer of the Metropolitan Police encouraged the gang to target the businessman’s emails and that this officer was employed by the UAE government.

Tens of thousands of emails, photographs, audio recordings, videos, and text messages were ultimately released to the web. Mr. Tomlinson, 69, presented Mr. Azima’s e-mails as evidence in the London High Court case without understanding how they ended up online.

Ras al-Khaimah state refused to comment. Mr. Tomlinson stated Wednesday that he had a “professional obligation to accept any case within my expertise.”

He stated, “The case I present in court is my client’s.” subject to my professional responsibilities I am compelled to comply with my client’s instructions and the court’s requirements. In this aspect, the situation reported by the Sunday Times is no different than any other.’


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