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James Murdoch Continues to Deny Knowledge of Phone Hacking

David McAlpine |
November 10, 2011 | 11:47 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
News Corp. Senior Executive James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, testified in front of British Parliament Thursday, saying that he had no knowledge of the phone hacking that sparked a worldwide scandal earlier this year.

According to Murdoch, it was the fault of two senior employees who failed to inform him of the inner workings of the News of the World tabloid. He laid blame on News of the World Edtior Colin Myler and lawyer Tom Crone, who worked for the paper.

Murdoch was questioned for more than two and a half hours, but his answers didn't change much.

From CBS News:

"It was not shown to me," he said of an explosive email which implicated one of his top reporters in phone hacking.

"It didn't occur to me to probe further," he said when quizzed about the legal advice his subordinates had supplied him.

"It didn't seem necessary for me to ask for a copy," he said of a seven-page document warning of overwhelming evidence of illegal behavior at his company.

One member of Parliament, Tom Watson, asked Murdoch if there was a code of "omerta," or secrecy, between upper level executives at News Corp. because of the illegality of the paper's actions.

From BBC News:

Mr Murdoch replied: "Absolutely not. I frankly think that is offensive and that's not true."

The MP said the company was facing a series of allegations around hacking and told him: "You must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise."

Mr Murdoch said that was "inappropriate" and said while it was a "matter of great regret" that "things went wrong" at the newspaper, when evidence had come to light "we acted... with great zeal and diligence to get to the bottom of issues to improve the processes to make sure they didn't happen again".

This testimony comes in the latest of a series of problems for Murdoch. Earlier last month, nearly 35% of News Corp.'s investors voted against his re-election to the board.

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