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News International to pay girl's family in hacking case

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:53 AM EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
Rupert Murdoch and former NOTW editor Rebekah Brooks leave his London residence in July.
Rupert Murdoch and former NOTW editor Rebekah Brooks leave his London residence in July.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Milly Dowler's family hopes "some good" comes out of settlement
  • NEW: Rupert Murdoch says News of the World's behavior was "abhorrent"
  • Rupert Murdoch agrees to donate to charities chosen by girl's family
  • A phone-hacking scandal rocked Britain

(CNN) -- News International, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper in Great Britain, has agreed to pay 2 million British pounds -- the equivalent of $3.2 million -- to the family of British teen Milly Dowler, who disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of chief executive of News Corporation, the parent company of News International, personally apologized to Dowler's family in July amid allegations that News of the World journalists listened to voice-mail messages on the girl's phone while she was missing.

"As the founder of the company, I was appalled to find out what happened," Murdoch said after speaking with the family in July.

Allegations that journalists hacked into the girl's voice-mail were part of a larger phone-hacking scandal that rocked Britain this year, prompting several arrests, resignations and hearings in Parliament.

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As part of the settlement, announced Friday by News International and the Dowler family, Murdoch will pay 1 million British pounds -- about $1.6 million -- to charities chosen by the Dowler family. Those charities "represent causes close to Milly and those that provide support to other victims of crime," in a statement that News International and the Dowler family issued Friday.

Milly Dowler was 13 when she disappeared.

"Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year," the Dowler family said in a statement.

"The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this."

Murdoch apologized again Friday for News of the World's actions.

"The behaviour that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent and I hope this donation underscores my regret for the company's role in this awful event," he said in the statement. "I also hope that through the personal donation something positive can be done in memory of their daughter."

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