British MPs to recall James Murdoch over phone hacking

13th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

British lawmakers said Tuesday they will recall News Corporation's deputy chief operating officer, James Murdoch, for a second grilling about phone hacking at the now-closed News of the World.

Murdoch, the son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and the chairman of News Corp's British newspaper subsidiary News International, will face questions about whether he knew that hacking was widespread at the tabloid.

Parliament's media committee grilled both Murdochs in a high-profile public hearing in July, and the committee's chairman John Whittingdale said Tuesday that James Murdoch would be asked back for another session to answer some unresolved questions.

"The committee is beginning to reach the end of its deliberations, we've spent a lot of time on this, but there are still one or two loose ends that we want to tie up," Whittingdale told Sky News television.

He added: "As a final session we will have some more questions based on what we've heard which we'll want to put to James Murdoch."

In his testimony in July, James Murdoch denied he had ever seen an email which appeared to prove that phone hacking at the News of the World was carried out by more than one rogue reporter and a private detective.

But his testimony has been contradicted by the tabloid's former editor, Colin Myler, and its former legal manager, Tom Crone, who said they discussed the email with James Murdoch during a meeting in 2008.

News Corp. said James Murdoch would attend the hearing.

"James Murdoch is happy to appear in front of the committee again to answer any further questions members might have," a spokeswoman said.

The committee also said it would recall long-time Rupert Murdoch aide Les Hinton.

Hinton was chairman of News International when the phone hacking took place, and went on to become chief executive of News Corp.'s Dow Jones unit, a job he quit in July at the height of the hacking scandal.

The recall came as the mother of a man who was killed in the 2005 Al-Qaeda-inspired attacks on the London transport network became the latest person to take legal action against the News of the World over allegations of phone hacking.

Lawyers told the High Court in London that Sheila Henry, whose son Christian Small died when a suicide bomber blew up an underground train, launched legal proceedings against News Group Newspapers earlier this week.

Police are believed to have told Henry that her son's phone was targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the centre of the hacking scandal, in the aftermath of the bombings.

It is understood that she had left messages trying to find out her son's location on the day in which 52 people died.

The 168-year-old News of the World was shut down in July after a public outcry over allegations that Mulcaire had hacked into the phone of a missing girl who was later found dead.

© 2011 AFP

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