International

James Murdoch In Spotlight Again Over His Knowledge Of Phone Hackings

News International executive James Murdoch testified at a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of a wider problem of cell phone hacking until a lawsuit in 2010.

News International executive James Murdoch testified at a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of a wider problem of cell phone hacking until a lawsuit in 2010. Warren Allott/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Warren Allott/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this year, Rupert and James Murdoch told Parliament they didn't realize how deep the phone hacking scandal went in their U.K. tabloid until 2010.

Today, in testimony before Parliament, two of James Murdoch's top executives contradicted him saying they had presented evidence to him much earlier during a meeting that implicated others beyond Clive Goodman, a royal reporter convicted over the practice.

The Guardian reports:

James Murdoch knew about an explosive email that would have proved that phone hacking at the News of the World was not confined to "one rogue reporter", MPs have been told.

The former legal manager at the now-defunct tabloid, Tom Crone, openly contradicted evidence given by Murdoch to a parliamentary committee in July by telling the same committee today that he was "certain" he told the News International chief of the existence of this email during a meeting in 2008.

According to Crone, the meeting lasted 15 minutes and was also attended by the then News of the World editor, Colin Myler, who concurred with the former legal affairs manager's versions of events.

The evidence was an email sent by one of the private investigators hired to hack phones to a News of the World reporter. It included transcripts of phone messages illegally obtained.

Murdoch immediately denied the allegations in statement.

"Neither Mr Myler nor Mr Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond Mr Goodman or Mr Mulcaire," James Murdoch said in a statement according to Reuters. "As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary."

As Guardian puts it, what this war of words means is that James Murdoch will almost certainly be compelled to appear before Parliament again.

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