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Didn't read hacking email in full: James Murdoch

Didn't read hacking email in full: James Murdoch

Murdoch's News Corp, however, continued to maintain that that hacking was confined to a single "rogue reporter" until the very end of 2010.

London: As inquiries continue at various levels into the phone-hacking row, News International chairman James Murdoch on Tuesday admitted that he had received an email in 2008 that detailed phone-hacking at the News of the World tabloid, but claimed he did not read it in full.

The email is a key factor in the row, and Murdoch's defence before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee has been that he did not receive details of the phone-hacking that was sent with the email.

If he had known, he would have stopped it then.

On Tuesday he told the House of Commons panel that he did not read the critical email sent to him in June 2008 by the former editor of the News of the World, which indicated that phone hacking at the Sunday tabloid went beyond the activities of a single "rogue reporter".

Colin Myler, the former editor, forwarded Murdoch a note from the tabloid's legal manager Tom Crone, warning of a "further nightmare scenario," because there was fresh evidence of hacking involving a News of the World journalist other than the jailed former royal editor Clive Goodman.

Murdoch replied to the email within three minutes of it being sent on 7 June 2008, offering to discuss the situation further, but he added that "I am confident that I did not review the full email chain at the time or afterwards".

The email was about the case brought by Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Three days after Myler sent the note that Murdoch did not review in full, the News Corp boss met the editor and Crone on 10 June 2008 to agree to pay Taylor 700,000 pounds to settle the case in secret.

Murdoch's News Corp, however, continued to maintain that that hacking was confined to a single "rogue reporter" until the very end of 2010.

Murdoch repeatedly told the committee that he did not see the email, nor did he understand its significance, while Myler and Crone contradicted Murdoch, saying the email was the sole reason for settling the case with what was the highest ever out-of-court payout for breach of privacy.

first published:December 14, 2011, 07:28 IST