LONDON — A reporter who is among the 16 people arrested and then freed on bail in the phone hacking case that has shaken Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in Britain warned his former bosses on Friday that he planned to break his silence on the scandal in a civil court case. He said that he would reveal those who were responsible for the phone hacking. The reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, 49, who was the chief reporter for the now-defunct tabloid The News of the World, gave the warning in a statement issued through his lawyers in connection with his wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against News International, the British newspaper arm of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation. Mr. Thurlbeck was one of the first people arrested by Scotland Yard in a renewed investigation of the phone hacking this year, but he has denied publicly having played any part in the illegal interception of cellphone voicemails.
Mr. Thurlbeck remained on the News International payroll into September, when he was fired. He has accused the company of having unfairly dismissed him for being a whistleblower. In his statement on Friday, he suggested that both sides “retain a dignified silence until we meet face to face in a public tribunal,” a hearing on his suit.
“There is so much I could have said publicly to the detriment of News International but so far have chosen not to,” he said. “At the length, truth will out.”
News International declined to comment on Mr. Thurlbeck’s statement.
With his statement, Mr. Thurlbeck appeared to have joined other current or former News International employees who have shown a readiness to contradict one another in public about newsroom wrongdoing at The News of the World — in particular, who authorized the phone hacking, who at the newspaper and at News International knew about it, and when.
The discrepancies apparently in accounts given this summer by Murdoch executives to a parliamentary committee investigating the scandal will be explored further in additional hearings called by the committee this fall.
The New York Times, by JOHN F. BURNS