James Murdoch, whose claim to Parliament last week that he had no idea there was rampant phone hacking going on at News International when he approved a $1.1 million settlement for a phone hacking case has since been contradicted by two of his executives, will probably be called back to explain the discrepancy.
Murdoch insisted to the panel that when he signed off on paying hacking victim Gordon Taylor more than $1 million for his silence, no one had informed him that the practice of illegal hacking extended far beyond the single reporter and private investigator who had up to that point been implicated.
But two of his former deputies—the News of the World's former editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone—have since publicly contradicted him, saying that Murdoch had been informed at that time of internal evidence that at least one more reporter had been receiving transcripts of hacked voicemails from the paper's private investigator. A third executive, former News International legal affairs director Jon Chapman, has also reportedly written to Parliament challenging Murdoch's testimony.
Today, the chairman of the committee to which Murdoch apparently lied announced that it was "very likely" that he would be called back to explain himself.
In other parliamentary news, Louise Mensch, the conservative MP who falsely accused Piers Morgan of having admitted to phone hacking in his memoir during the Murdoch hearing—he only coyly hinted that he knew it was possible—is living up to her name by publicly apologizing to Morgan today. (Morgan, of course, obviously knew about and countenanced phone hacking at the Daily Mirror and will almost certainly get caught up in the scandal in due time.)
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