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James Murdoch Will Have To Explain Some Of His Disputed Testimony

Reported by Ellen - July 22, 2011 -

Two former high-level News Corp. employees are disputing James Murdoch's testimony to Parliament about his claim they had hidden information from him that would have tipped him off about how widespread the practice of phone hacking was at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

Today's New York Times noted that while Murdoch claimed he had not been involved in an unusually large settlement to a phone hacking victim, two of his senior executives say otherwise:

Two former News International executives publicly contradicted James Murdoch’s testimony to a parliamentary committee, saying Thursday that they told him of evidence in 2008 that suggested that phone hacking at one of the company’s tabloid newspapers was more widespread.

The former executives said they informed Mr. Murdoch at the time that he was authorizing an unusually large secret settlement of a lawsuit brought by a hacking victim.

Mr. Murdoch, who runs the News Corporation’s European and Asian operations, including News International, the British subsidiary, told the committee on Tuesday that he agreed to pay £725,000, which was then about $1.4 million, in the case because it made financial sense. He testified that he was not aware at the time of the evidence, which most likely would have become public had the case proceeded and undermined the company’s assertion that hacking was limited to “a lone rogue reporter.”

The Guardian notes that "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."

It ain't over, folks.

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