James Murdoch will be criticised by MPs investigating phone hacking on Tuesday, but their assessment of his conduct is expected to fall just short of accusing the former chairman of News International of misleading parliament about the extent of his knowledge of the affair.
The all party culture media and sport select committee concluded they could not reach a final decision about whether Murdoch misled them because of what the MPs described as conflicting evidence, according to a source close to the process. However, there was enough to lead members to agree that Murdoch had not asked the questions that would help determine the true extent of phone hacking at the News of the World for several years.
The select committee will reserve some of its strongest condemnation for Murdoch's predecessor in the role, Les Hinton, who had appeared before the committee three times over the past five years. Hinton told the committee last October that he was right to have told MPs in 2009 that phone hacking was not rife at the newspaper.
Hinton is expected to be accused of misleading parliament as a result, with MPs particularly focused on his evidence as regards Clive Goodman, the former News of the World royal editor, who went to jail for hacking in 2007.
Goodman subsequently made an unfair dismissal complaint, saying hacking was "widely discussed" until reference to it was banned by the then editor. But Hinton said the complaint was unfounded, and amounted to "accusations and allegations".
The parliamentary report will also criticise the former News of the World editor Colin Myler and the newspaper's long serving chief lawyer Tom Crone in a long awaited document due to be released on Tuesday.
Myler, who is now editor of the New York Daily News, and Crone had been repeatedly pressed on their failure to uncover what had happened.
However, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, the two previous editors of the Sunday tabloid when phone hacking took place, will not be singled out, because both have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the intercepting of voicemail messages.
Committee members felt they could not condemn indiduals who had been arrested – providing some relief for David Cameron, who appointed Coulson as his chief spin doctor after Coulson resigned from the News of the World after Goodman was jailed.
Here are some questions:
So now the ball is in Les Hinton's court - does he take the fall for the hacking and corruption scandal or does he tell what he REALLY knows Rupert Murdoch knew about the whole thing? (as Rupert's right hand man for a long, long time, Hinton knows where some bodies are buried...)
Also, will Colin Myler be criticized for not taking enough steps to clear up the hacking matter at NOTW or will he too be accused of misleading Parliament?
And can he remain as Daily News editor if he is criticized in the committee report for not taking the corrective actions needed to clean up the newsroom? (I think if he is accused of lying to Parliament, he has to go - but what do I know? I wouldn't have thought he'd have gotten another job after the NOTW mess!)
So far the Murdochs and their "fixer" Joel Klein are managing to hang the scandal onto others.
Some of those people have pushed back.
Myler and Tom Crone have already accused James Murdoch of lying.
When does Les Hinton take on the Murdochs?