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August 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Evidence that would appear to suggest that senior executives of Rupert Murdoch’s British news subsidiary News International (NI), including his son James, had engaged in a massive cover-up of the voicemail hacking scandal since at least 2007 was published today (Tuesday) by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. The evidence includes a letter sent to NI’s director of human resources by Clive Goodman, the only <I>News of the World </I>reporter convicted of engaging in intercepting voicemail for stories he contributed to the tabloid. Appealing his dismissal, Goodman wrote that he had acted “with the full knowledge and support” of senior editors at <I>News of the World</I>. The names of the editors were redacted at the request of Scotland Yard, which is conducting its own investigation of the scandal. The letter also names the senior official at the newspaper who arranged payment to Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who performed the actual hacking. Moreover, Goodman wrote, “This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor.” The editor was Andy Coulson, who has persistently denied that he was aware of the practice and, like other NI executives, past and present, has referred to Goodman as a “rogue reporter.” Earlier this year, Coulson resigned as Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications director. Goodman further alleged that the paper’s executives had “promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff” in court. Goodman did not get his job back, but, according to other evidence published by the committee, he did receive £243,502.08 (about $400,000) in salary, severance fees, and lawyer’s costs. In an interview with Britain’s <I>Guardian </I>newspaper today, Labor MP Tom Watson, who himself is believed to be a victim of the hacking, described the payment as “hush money. I think they tried to buy his silence.” Watson, who is also a member of the parliamentary committee that published the new evidence, said that Goodman’s letter “is the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far. … This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime.”