Did James Murdoch mislead MPs?

British police should launch a probe into claims by News International Chairman James Murdoch`s two former employees that he gave "mistaken" testimony before a Parliamentary committee on the phone-hacking scandal.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2011, 17:26 PM IST

London: British police should launch a probe
into claims by News International Chairman James Murdoch`s two
former employees that he gave "mistaken" testimony before a
Parliamentary committee on the phone-hacking scandal,
opposition Labour MP Tom Watson said on Friday.

Watson, who has been in the forefront of Parliamentary
scrutiny of the phone-hacking scandal involving the media
empire`s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, said if it was
proved that Murdoch misled the Culture, Media and Sport Select
Committee, he will have to face the law.

Murdoch had told the committee that he was not "aware" of
an email suggesting that wrongdoing went wider than a "rogue"
News of the World reporter.

London: British police should launch a probe
into claims by News International Chairman James Murdoch`s two
former employees that he gave "mistaken" testimony before a
Parliamentary committee on the phone-hacking scandal,
opposition Labour MP Tom Watson said on Friday.

Watson, who has been in the forefront of Parliamentary
scrutiny of the phone-hacking scandal involving the media
empire`s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, said if it was
proved that Murdoch misled the Culture, Media and Sport Select
Committee, he will have to face the law.

Murdoch had told the committee that he was not "aware" of
an email suggesting that wrongdoing went wider than a "rogue"
News of the World reporter.

The Metropolitan Police later confirmed that Watson`s
request for an investigation "was being considered," BBC said.
In a statement, James Murdoch said: "I stand by my
testimony to the select committee."

The testimony in question refers to the April 2008
payment authorised by Murdoch as part of an out-of-court
settlement of more than 600,000 pounds to Gordon Taylor, chief
executive of the Professional Footballers` Association, over
the hacking of his phone.

He had said at the time he did not know the full extent
of hacking that may have been going on at the News of the
World.

The paper`s royal editor Clive Goodman and private
investigator Glenn Mulcaire had both been jailed for hacking
into phones of the royal household in 2007.

At the committee hearing, Watson asked Murdoch: "When you
signed off the Taylor payment, did you see or were you made
aware of the full" email suggesting hacking was more
widespread than had been admitted.

To which, Murdoch replied: "No, I was not aware of that
at the time... There was every reason to settle the case,
given the likelihood of losing the case and given the damages
- we had received counsel - that would be levied."

In their statement, Myler and Crone said: "Just by way of
clarification relating to Tuesday`s CMS Select Committee
hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch`s
recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the
Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.

"In fact, we did inform him of the `for Neville` email
which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor`s lawyers."
In an editorial titled `News Corp and phone hacking:

Wilful blindness at the very top`, The Guardian said: "If Mr
Murdoch`s evidence was wrong, it undermines all the clean
broom assurances he and his father gave to Parliament on
Wednesday. A very great deal hangs on sorting out who is
telling the truth."

PTI