James Murdoch under fire in hacking probe by MPs

The Guardian

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BskyB Chairman and News International executive JAMES MURDOCH could be recalled to a Select Committee of MPs, it emerged today, Tuesday – after MPs quizzed more former News International and News Corp staff.

According to a former Legal Manager of News Corp, Tom Crone, James Murdoch did see a “for Neville email”, but Murdoch claimed at a hearing in July that he had not been made aware of it, when quizzed by the Labour attack dog of the hacking scandal Tom Watson.

The conflicting evidence came as more than a quarter of a million pounds was dished out by News Intl in the Gordon Taylor case by News International, with “claims” that this was to cover up the widespread hacking at the News of the World, which shut down in July.

But in the “for Neville” it effectively infers that hacking was more widespread than News Int had first claimed with it being just one rogue reporter. Colin Myler and Crone, claimed they had had a fifteen minute meeting over the email with James Murdoch. News International have rebutted claims by Myler and Crone saying their testimony to MPs was "unclear."

The conflicting stories could be a blow for James Murdoch, as the Chairman of BskyB, as he could be examined as whether he is a fit and proper person to chair BskyB.

Gordon Taylor, who was paid off by News Int because of alleged phone hacking, was the chief executive of the English footballers' trades union, the Professional Footballers Association, and reportedly was paid a whopping seven figures by News Int in exchange for barring him from speaking out about the case, in what is called a confidentiality agreement.

Other celebrities and politicians also came forward in a recent police probe to say they thought their phones may had been hacked by News Int staff.

MPs on the committee will have to decide if James Murdoch had misled them, after they quizzed both the former editor of the paper, Colin Myler, and, Tom Crone, a former Legal Manager of News Corp.

When quizzed by Watson, Crone vehemently denied that the Gordon Taylor settlement was to shut the doors on the hacking ever being released into the public domain.

News International opened their doors to a police investigation in January of this year, and it was only a couple of months ago that The Guardian newspaper uncovered the alleged hacking of the dead school girl Milly Dowler’s phone – and SMS messages that had been deleted by News Int payroll staff, it was alleged.

Lord Justice Leveson has been tasked with getting to the bottom of what has been going on at newspapers, those accused of hacking, as well as making recommendations on press ethics. He will report back within a year.

It has also been reported that the parents of Madeleine Mccann, the missing school girl, could be involved in the Leveson Inquiry, which will last a year.

It was set up by David Cameron the PM, who has faced some serious judgement issues in hiring a former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson into no 10, who resigned at the beginning of this year – and who was arrested in July, along with Rebekah Brooks, and several other News Int employees.

The Royal reporter Clive Goodman was jailed in 2007, along with the contracted PI Glenn Mulcaire for phone hacking – and News Int claimed in previous failed Met Cop investigations that hacking was just confined to Goodman, and Mulcaire.

A police investigation is still ongoing into hacking, and Met Police corruption.

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