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News International close to settlement with Dowler family

The family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler has reportedly been offered a £2m-plus compensation settlement by News International.

Milly Dowler before she disappeared in 2002.
Milly Dowler before she disappeared in 2002.

NEWS INTERNATIONAL IS in advanced talks with the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler over compensation for the News of the World hacking incident.

In July this year, it emerged that people working for the now-defunct newspaper hacked into the 13-year-old’s mobile phone messages after she disappeared in 2002.

At the time her family believed she had accessed her voicemail, giving them false hope that she was still alive. The teenager was later found murdered.

Rupert Murdoch’s company said today that it hoped to reach agreement with the Dowler family soon.

No details of the proposed settlement were disclosed but, according to The Guardian, compensation could be in excess of £2 million. The figure will also include a donation to charity.

Sky News reports that the payout will be made with the next two days and the charitable donation could be worth up to £1 million.

The family were just one of many victims of phone hacking at the News of the World but the Dowler case triggered the widening of the hacking scandal, which has led to forced resignations of police chiefs and News Corp executives, as well as the closure of the 168-year-old Sunday newspaper.

Payouts have already been made to actress Sienna Miller, football commentator Andy Gray and celebrity PR guru Max Clifford.

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News International also faces numerous lawsuits from dozens more claimants, including Paul Gascoigne and Jude Law.

Murdoch’s News Corporation has set aside millions of pounds to compensate the victims of phone hacking.

-Additional reporting by AP

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