James Murdoch to be recalled in hacking probe
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 18:21
  
London: Top executive of tainted News International James Murdoch is likely to be recalled to testify by British lawmakers after doubts were raised over his evidence on phone hacking.

The House of Common's Culture, Media and Sport Committee may ask Murdoch to re-appear, chairman of the committee John Whittingdale said today.

He said, the committee would like to ask Murdoch about the contradiction in his testimony and statements of former employees of News International, Tom Crone (former legal manager), Colin Myler (former editor of News of the World) and Jon Chapman (former legal director).

Whittingdale said the committee was publishing evidence later today which appeared to contradict some of what they were told. A lawmaker Tom Watson said that Committee revelations would be devastating and would raise new questions over the scam.

James along with his father media baron Rupert Murdoch appeared before the committee on July 19. Media reports had said that James had told lawmakers he was unaware of an email that could suggest that the hacking in the Murdoch owned News of the World went wider then one rogue reporter.

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 in July, Labour's Tom 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."

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 17:58


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