Murdoch: I Didn't Lie, Except About That One Thing

Tells Parliament he was kept in the dark, but did know about a 2008 email
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2011 7:00 AM CST
James Murdoch: I Didn't Lie, Except About That One Thing
News Corp. executive James Murdoch speaks during his second appearance before British parliamentarians investigating the country's phone hacking scandal in London, Thursday, Nov. 10.   (AP Photo/Parliamentary Recording Unit via APTN)

And so begins the grilling of James Murdoch by Parliament, Round 2. Today's theme: I didn't lie. Murdoch once again insisted that he told the truth in regards to his lack of knowledge about the criminal activity that was happening at News of the World. And he pinned the blame firmly on his former subordinates, saying they kept him in the dark. "Any suspicion of wider spread wrongdoing, none of that was mentioned to me," he said to a group the AP describes as "often-skeptical and occasionally hostile lawmakers." So who did lie? Ex NotW editor Colin Myler and former News International legal adviser, Tom Crone, both of whom say they told Murdoch about damning evidence that proved extensive phone hacking was occurring. "I believe their testimony was misleading, and I dispute it," Murdoch said.

But the Wall Street Journal does note that Murdoch backpedaled on one former claim made in July: He now says he was made aware of an email that contained transcripts of hacked voicemails belonging to soccer figure Gordon Taylor, but says he wasn't clued in to its significance. "The suspicion that perhaps other individuals were involved at the News of the World was not described to me, and the email was not shown to me either." Bonus: The biggest zinger so far? Labour lawmaker/Murdoch foe Tom Watson's comment that "you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't think he was running a criminal enterprise." The BBC reports that Murdoch was none too pleased, saying, "Absolutely not. I frankly think that is offensive and that's not true." (Read more James Murdoch stories.)

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