Tuesday, September 22, 2020

NEW EVIDENCE MAY UNDERMINE MURDOCH’S DEFENSE

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

James Murdoch has continued to maintain that he was unaware that voicemail hacking at the now-defunct News of the World went beyond the work of a single “rogue” reporter even after email correspondence between him and the tabloid’s editor was released suggesting that he was thoroughly briefed about the hacking. In a statement, Murdoch said that he had received the email “on a Saturday when I was not in the office. I replied two minutes later accepting a meeting and did not read the full email chain. As I have always said, I was not aware of evidence of widespread wrongdoing or the need for further investigation.” The email, from News of the World editor Colin Myler, presented the detailed opinion of the tabloid’s lawyer, Tom Crone, that Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers Assn., had evidence that his mobile phone had been hacked, and recommended that his lawsuit be settled for $1.2 million. Previously, Murdoch had testified that Myler and Crone “did not show me the email.” But in the new disclosure of the email messages, Murdoch replies, “No worries. I am in during the afternoon, if you want to talk before I’ll be home tonight.” Testifying again on Wednesday, Crone reiterated that he had briefed Murdoch on the extent of the hacking in a face-to-face meeting, recalling that he had held up the front page of the crucial evidence in the Taylor case. “What was relayed to Mr. Murdoch was that this document clearly was direct and hard evidence.” Soon after, Murdoch authorized the settlement of the case. In an article about the latest revelations appearing in today’s (Thursday) Guardian, David Leigh, the investigative reporter who broke the hacking story, commented, “The idea that [Murdoch] would authorize payments from his company of three-quarters of a million pounds without bothering to read the files is one many will find startling.”