James Murdoch again denies wider hacking knowledge

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James Murdoch insisted Thursday that he had no knowledge of widespread phone-hacking at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid as he made a second appearance before British lawmakers.

Recalled for a grilling over apparent discrepancies in evidence he gave in July, the News International chairman sought to transfer the blame to the paper's former editor Colin Myler and legal executive Tom Crone.

Murdoch insisted that he had not been shown an email during a meeting with the pair in June 2008 indicating that the illegal hacking of voicemails at the News of the World went beyond a single rogue reporter.

In July he had also claimed he was not aware of the contents of the email, marked for attention of ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, but Myler and Crone challenged this, prompting lawmakers to recall him.

"The nature of the 'for Neville' email... any suspicion of wider spread wrongdoing, none of these things were mentioned to me," he told parliament's media committee.

He said Myler and Crone had "misled" parliament.

Murdoch, the son of News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch, also repeated his apologies for the scandal which led to the closure of the News of the World in July after 168 years.

"The whole company is humbled by this... We are all humbled by it and trying to improve the business, improve the structures and leadership," James Murdoch said.

© 2011 AFP

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