London: Amidst new revelations of rampant unethical news gathering practices at the News of the World, James Murdoch, chairman of News International, will appear before a key British parliamentary committee on Thursday to defend himself in the raging phone-hacking row.
The list of unethical practices has grown longer with new revelations indicating that they were conducted on an industrial scale and as a matter of routine to gather information about celebrities and others for use in sensational news stories in the now-defunct tabloid.
The latest 'practice' revealed is covert surveillance, which includes following individuals and capturing their activities on camera or video.
Murdoch's empire is under pressure for using unethical and illegal practices such as phone-hacking, computer hacking, 'pinging' (tracking location of mobile phones), 'blagging' (masquerading as someone else to secure data by phone) and now covert surveillance.
MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons will probe Murdoch on his earlier claim that he was not aware of phone-hacking in his news organisations, when emails and statements by former employees claimed otherwise.
In a letter to the committee, Tom Crone, the former News of the World legal chief, has told MPs that emails published last week appear to show that James Murdoch knew about the 'for Neville' email in May 2008, years before Murdoch claimed he was told about widespread hacking at the now-defunct newspaper.
In the letter to the culture, media and sport committee published yesterday, Crone said that Murdoch "already had knowledge of the new evidence (the 'for Neville' email)" as a result of a meeting with Colin Myler, then News of the World editor.