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LONDON – James Murdoch believes key information about phone-hacking was withheld from him by senior executives at the News of The World, sources close to News International told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday.
Despite admitting earlier this week that he had failed to read a vital email detailing wrongdoing, the News Corp deputy COO is understood to continue to believe that former News of The World lawyer Tom Crone and former News of The World editor Colin Myler withheld the key documents detailing the full extent of phone-hacking from him at a 2008 meeting.
News International went on to argue for almost three years that phone-hacking had been the work of “one rogue reporter,” despite mounting internal evidence showing that their public utterances were untrue.
Referring to the “four core documents that really point to widespread wrongdoing,” the source said that these were documents James Murdoch should have been shown.
Those “core” documents are the so-called “for Neville” email which contained a transcript of intercepted voice messages; a memo from royal reporter Clive Goodman alleging that phone-hacking was approved by his bosses in the newsroom; the Michael Silverleaf QC legal opinion which identified “a culture” of criminality at The News of The World, and a separate memo from Tom Crone also detailing evidence of wrongdoing.
Referring to the documents presented to Parliament Monday showing that Colin Myler had sent James Murdoch internal documents that should have sounded a warning bell, the source said the email chain published Monday was being read with “the benefit of hindsight.”
News International declined comment beyond the statement James Murdoch issued Monday, saying he had no knowledge of wrongdoing.
“I was sent the email on a Saturday when I was not in the office. I replied two minutes later accepting a meeting and did not read the full email chain. As I have always said, I was not aware of evidence of widespread wrongdoing or the need for further investigation.”
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