James Murdoch was "mistaken" in his testimony given to a parliamentary committee earlier this week, according to two former News Corp. executives who say they told him of evidence in 2008 that suggested hacking at one of the company’s tabloids was more widespread than previously thought, reports The New York Times.
In response to what the two former employees said, The Times reports: "In a statement, Mr. Murdoch said, ‘I stand by my testimony to the select committee.’ ”
The executives, former editor of News of the World Colin Myler and former News International legal manager Tom Crone, said they gave Murdoch the information at the time when he was authorizing a large settlement of a lawsuit brought by a hacking victim, the story says.
Murdoch said in testimony that he agreed to pay £725,000 because it made financial sense, although he said he wasn’t aware of the evidence at the time, the piece notes. The lawsuit was brought by a soccer union leader, Gordon Taylor.
Myler and Crone said Murdoch knew about a piece of evidence when he settled the lawsuit: an email containing the transcript of a hacked cellphone message that was marked "for Neville," presumably meaning the News of the World’s chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, the article says.
“In fact, we did inform him of the ‘for Neville’ e-mail which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor’s lawyers,” Myler and Crone said in a statement.
The pair said they spoke out because they were upset the company was informing reporters they hadn’t told Murdoch about critical facts in the lawsuit.