A newspaper in Britain reports that tabloid papers owned by News Corporation has secretly paid more than Stg 1 million one in court costs and damages to settle cases involving illegal phone tapping.
The Guardian newspaper report follows accusations that journalists from the News of the World were involved in criminal methods to get stories.
It says there is evidence that private investigators were used to gain illegal access to the mobile phone messages, bank statements and tax records of numerous public figures, such as cabinet ministers, actors and sports stars.
The Guardian says three cases have been settled out of court.
In a statement, News International said it was inappropriate to comment at this time.