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Intro: "Colin Myler and Tom Crone challenge News Corp. executive's statement to MPs at phone-hacking hearing."

James Murdoch testifying before British Parliament, 07/19/11. (photo: Rex Features)
James Murdoch testifying before British Parliament, 07/19/11. (photo: Rex Features)



Report: James Murdoch Lied to British Parliament

By Lisa O'Carroll, Guardian UK

21 July 11

 

Colin Myler and Tom Crone challenge News Corp. executive's statement to MPs at phone-hacking hearing.

ames Murdoch has been accused of misleading the parliamentary select committee this week in relation to phone hacking, igniting yet another fire for the embattled News International boss to extinguish.

In a highly damaging broadside, two former News of the World senior executives claimed the evidence Murdoch gave to the committee on Tuesday in relation to an out-of-court settlement to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, was "mistaken."

The statement came as something of a bombshell to the culture, sport and media select committee, which immediately announced it would be asking Murdoch to explain the contradiction.

Colin Myler, editor of the paper until it was shut down two weeks ago, and Tom Crone, the paper's former head of legal affairs, said they had expressly told Murdoch of an email that would have blown a hole in its defence that only one "rogue reporter" was involved in the phone-hacking scandal.

This contradicts what Murdoch told the committee when questioned on Tuesday.

The existence of the email, known as the "for Neville" email because of its link to the paper's former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, is thought to have been critical in News International's decision to pay out around £700,000 to Taylor in an out-of-court settlement after he threatened to sue the paper.

James Murdoch is standing by his version of events. A statement issued by News Corporation said: "James Murdoch stands by his testimony to the select committee."

In their statement, Myler and Crone challenged this: "Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's Culture, Media 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."

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the culture, sport and media select committee, said: "We as a committee regarded the 'for Neville' email as one of the most critical pieces of evidence in the whole inquiry. We will be asking James Murdoch to respond and ask him to clarify."

He added that "it was seen as one of the few available pieces of evidence showing that this activity was not confined just to Clive Goodman," the only journalist on the paper to have been prosecuted - and jailed - in relation to phone hacking so far.

The email is believed to have been critical in News International's decision to pay Taylor such a large sum of money.

If it had got out in a full-blown court case brought by the Profession Footballers' Association chief executive it would have blown a hole in News International's claim that only one reporter was involved in hacking.

James Murdoch claimed to the MPs that this email had been concealed from him by two company executives, Crone and Myler, when he was persuaded to sign off the secret deal with Taylor.

Earlier this month James Murdoch acknowledged he was wrong to settle the suit, saying he did not "have a complete picture of the case" at the time.

He repeated this on Tuesday at the select committee when he was asked by Labour MP Tom Watson: "When you signed off the Taylor payment, did you see or were you made aware of the full Neville email, the transcript of the hacked voicemail messages?"

To this James Murdoch answered: "No, I was not aware of that at the time."

Watson went on to ask him why then had he paid an "astronomical sum" to Taylor.

James Murdoch replied: "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."

With parliament in recess, it is unlikely but not unprecedented for a select committee to hold a special evidence session to clarify the issue.

Witnesses in the case have been given very strict instructions before giving evidence to tell the truth, although witnesses do not give evidence under a specific oath.

James Murdoch told the committee that his advisers had urged him to adopt a strategy of telling the truth when he spoke to the committee.

In its 2010 report the culture, sport and media select committee, in discussing the Gordon Taylor settlement, wrote: "The settlements were authorised by James Murdoch, executive chairman of News International, following discussions with Colin Myler and Tom Crone."

It did not specifically state whether Murdoch had been shown the "for Neville" email before making the settlement, but does state Murdoch was authorised to make the payment without bringing the issue to the News International board.

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Comments  

 
+48 # fredboy 2011-07-21 16:53
The question raised is whether Murdoch owns the British Parliament.
 
 
+48 # jmarshall 2011-07-21 17:33
Anyone who has ever encountered a con artist/manipula tor will recognize the signs. That's all I need to say.
 
 
+10 # whoanellie50 2011-07-21 22:36
The correct term is psychopath A cute psychopath.
 
 
+2 # Pickwicky 2011-07-23 10:49
Didn't you mean an ugly acute psychopath?

Now, my dears, do we really want to condemn Ruppie for poisoning the whole goddam world?
 
 
+37 # DLT888 2011-07-21 17:53
Throw him in the clink for perjury!!
 
 
0 # Pickwicky 2011-07-23 10:47
Aw-w-w-w-w! Maybe Ruppie had a tough childhood.
 
 
+32 # Virginia 2011-07-21 18:45
"The first reason for Britain’s colonization of Australia was to provide a new location for the criminal population. In the 1600s and 1700s, Britain had a major problem with crime and would send their criminals to America. The criminals who were sent to America would be those convicted of petty crimes such as theft. However, in the 1770s the American colonies revolted and Britain could not send their criminals to that location any longer." (Source Christopher Yu, St. Benedict’s Ealing Senior School - posted on the Internet).

Any bets on the Murdoch family tree?
 
 
+28 # minkdumink 2011-07-21 19:58
we still have plenty of thieves in america,they own congress.
 
 
+1 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-07-22 16:46
Quoting Virginia:
"The first reason for Britain’s colonization of Australia was to provide a new location for the criminal population. In the 1600s and 1700s, Britain had a major problem with crime and would send their criminals to America. The criminals who were sent to America would be those convicted of petty crimes such as theft. However, in the 1770s the American colonies revolted and Britain could not send their criminals to that location any longer." (Source Christopher Yu, St. Benedict’s Ealing Senior School - posted on the Internet).

Any bets on the Murdoch family tree?


I'll take some of that action:):):):): )!
 
 
+6 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-07-22 17:02
During the "hearings" before the Parliment the other day, I believe the Murdochs' "I'm sorry," was simply a code to their empire minions to "START DELETING FILES AND RECORDS." I believe the whistle-blower was murdered. With such a vast empire to protect, he will have difficulty keeping everyone "quiet and in line." The "fires" will "spark and blaze" much faster than they can contain or put them out. THE MURDOCH MEGA-MEDIA MACHINE, GOES DOWN IN A BLAZE, AND UP IN SMOKE!!! DOWN GOES MURDOCH! DOWN GOES MURDOCH! DOWN GOES MURDOCH! DOWN GOES MURDOCH! Even Wendi's "right cross" will not save you. I would love to hear the "Darth Vader Theme" played over the speakers as they lead the Murdochs to their respective PRISON cells, not CC's.
 
 
+31 # tcatt57 2011-07-21 19:08
This was a charade, no one was sworn in. The Brits lobbed softball questions and mean while the lead witness is dead, murdered, but not any possibility of linkage. You know there as here, you tell the truth you die, Period! Al least the British public is nt h alf as b rainwashed and stupid as our current US sheeple!
 
 
+10 # Robyn 2011-07-21 19:33
Why am I not surprised.
 
 
+20 # humanmancalvin 2011-07-21 19:53
Shocked..shocke d I say I am that Mr. Murdoch would try to lie his way out of this scandal. Why Fox News would never do such a thing..errrrr.
 
 
+12 # whoanellie50 2011-07-21 22:20
He is a cute psychopath Just like the fancy boys that ran Enron into the ground. The same dudes, like Scooter Libby, that sent the US Armed forces into Iraq. Look at him smirk...wow what a frigging wimp. Bet he is on first nicknames with Karl Rove and the Rushter....mayb e they do drugs together. What a load of frigging crap... the whole Fox New set up... and and that Empress Closet Queen Roger Alleis....what a load ....oh wait was not he a Recon Marine during Nam? No???? Then an Airborne Ranger??? No???? Or is he another draft dodging fat ass like Dick Cheney....
 
 
+10 # soularddave 2011-07-21 22:37
No wonder everyone is scared of Murdoch. No telling what he and his criminal enterprise might have on any one of them. That's why it's illegal for anyone to eavesdrop on others' communication - especially governments. Fear of extortion keeps the authorities dancing around the real issues, and perpetuates the "circus" we're watching.

It's being revealed that this is the way Murdoch;s criminal enterprise is run = possibly A:: of it = both sides of the Atlantic. Lots od people need to be sent to jail and heavily fined, Not just for getting in to private communications, but for possessing and using the purloined information for any purpose. It may take a lot of resources, but every "company" computer hard drive should have been immediately seized and examined. Financial records should be examined and resources seized to cover the costs of the massive investigations.
 
 
+9 # asda 2011-07-22 06:57
Elitists getting their own way at the cost of the world population. No need to panic, this is business as usual.
 
 
+3 # Winston P. Nagan 2011-07-22 12:54
Murdoch; Nasty, Brutish, and Global. How do we get a handle on unaccountable private power? Winston P. Nagan
 
 
+6 # Ruth A Wilding 2011-07-22 15:13
It isn't surprising that the whistle blower died. Ho convenient! Remember Kelly?
 
 
+1 # guaznu 2011-07-22 15:37
He should run for vice president on both the democratic and republican party presidential platforms in 2012
 
 
+2 # Cynthia 2011-07-23 16:19
If the answer to the question about why pay a large settlement to Taylor was "...the likelihood of losing the case...", did the Commission ever ask Mr. Murdoch what reason his counsel had put forward to make losing so likely as to justify the settlement? I did not read such a followup question in this article, but maybe it's in the transcript of the proceedings. Certainly one would not normally consider that an adequate answer.
 

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