Wednesday, August 17, 2011

'Murdochs misled Commons on scandal'

Source: Press TV

A reporter formerly working at the now shut-down British tabloid News of the World has said that the British media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, misled the Parliament about the phone-hacking scandal.

Clive Goodman, the jailed royal reporter, revealed that hacking was a widespread practice among the tabloid's senior editors, something that was rejected by Rupert and James Murdoch when the two were hauled before a parliamentary commission to address the charges against them.

The revelation comes as British MPs have published a letter by jailed journalist Clive Goodman. Goodman wrote the letter to appeal against his dismissal from the paper in 2007.

Goodman said that he carried out the hacking with the full knowledge and support of other senior journalists.

The reporter claimed in the letter that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at editorial meetings at the paper until former News of the World Andy Coulson himself banned further references to it.

The claims are acutely troubling for Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired Coulson as his media adviser on the basis that he knew nothing about phone hacking.

With the claims that have been made, Rupert and James Murdoch may also face the humiliating prospect of being recalled to parliament to justify the evidence which they gave last month on the aftermath of Goodman's allegations.

Goodman's claims also raise serious questions about Murdoch's close friend and adviser, Les Hinton, who was sent a copy of the letter but failed to pass it to the police.

The letters from Goodman and from the London law firm Harbottle & Lewis are among a cache of paperwork published by the Commons culture, media and sport select committee.

One committee member, the Labor MP Tom Watson, said Goodman's letter was "absolutely devastating".

"Clive Goodman's letter is the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far. It completely removes News International's defense. This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime", he said.

Goodman's letter is dated March 2, 2007, soon after he was released from a four-month prison sentence.

The revelation could also bring new allegations of a cover-up and dishonesty against Murdoch and his son, James.

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