Tuesday 6 September 2011

James Murdoch: 'I stand by my testimony'

News International has issued a statement in which James Murdoch says he stands by his testimony to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that he was not told about an email that suggested phone hacking at the News of the World had extended beyond Royal reporter Clive Goodman.

The statement came after the committee had re-questioned former News of the World editor Colin Myler and ex-NoW legal manager Tom Crone.

Crone said he was certain he had discussed the email with James Murdoch which indicated that phone hacking had gone beyond Goodman and that is why they had settled a legal case with PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor.

The statement said: "News International notes today's testimony before the Committee. The company regards evidence given today as having been unclear and contradictory.

"Regarding the testimony relating to the Gordon Taylor settlement, James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and CEO, International, News Corporation said: 'My recollection of the meeting regarding the Gordon Taylor settlement is absolutely clear and consistent. I stand by my testimony, which is an accurate account of events.

“ 'I was told by Mr Crone and Mr Myler when we met, in that short meeting, that the civil litigation related to the interception of Mr Taylor’s voicemails to which Mulcaire had pleaded guilty the previous year. I was informed, for the first time, that there was evidence that Mulcaire had carried out this interception on behalf of the News of the World. It was for this reason alone that Mr Crone and Mr Myler recommended settlement. It was in this context that the evidence was discussed. They did not show me the email, nor did they refer to Neville Thurlbeck.

“ 'Neither Mr Myler nor Mr Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond Mr Goodman or Mr Mulcaire. As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary.'

"News International continues to cooperate fully with the Metropolitan Police Service in its investigations into phone hacking and police payments. We are eager to assist it in any way possible to ensure that those responsible for criminal acts are brought to justice."

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