James Murdoch to be recalled in hacking probe

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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