Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Former NOTW Lawyer: Murdoch Told "Shameful Lie" To Leveson Inquiry

Lots of people are saying Murdoch came off the Leveson inquiry pretty much unscathed (unlike say, Jeremy Hunt), but Murdoch spent an awful lot of time blaming the hacking on everybody under him.

You would think it wouldn't take long for those under him to attack back.

And it didn't take long at all:

The former legal manager of the News of the World branded allegations by Rupert Murdoch that he was responsible for covering up phone hacking by the paper's journalists a "shameful lie".

Tom Crone issued a strongly worded statement on Thursday afternoon saying the same applied to Murdoch's suggestion at the Leveson inquiry earlier in the day that a News of the World lawyer had prevented journalists from telling News International executives about allegations that phone hacking at the paper went beyond a single "rogue" reporter.

Although Murdoch did not name Crone during his testimony, the former News International lawyer said he can only have been referring to him.

"Since Rupert Murdoch's evidence today about a lawyer who had been on the News of the World for many years can only refer to me, I am issuing the following statement," he said.

"His assertion that I 'took charge of a cover-up' in relation to phone-hacking is a shameful lie. The same applies to his assertions that I misinformed senior executives about what was going on and that I forbade people from reporting to [former News International chief executive] Rebekah Brooks or to [ex chairman] James Murdoch," Crone added.

"It is perhaps no coincidence that the two people he has identified in relation to his cover-up allegations are the same two people who pointed out that his son's evidence to the parliamentary select committee last year was inaccurate.

"The fact that Mr Murdoch's attack on [former News of the World editor] Colin Myler and myself may have been personal as well as being wholly wrong greatly demeans him."

Crone, a long-serving News International legal executive, left the company after the closure of the News of the World in July 2011, as did Myler.

The pair then became embroiled in a public row with James Murdoch. They claimed they had told the News Corp deputy chief operating officer in 2008 that phone hacking at the News of the World went beyond a single reporter. Murdoch denies this.

Still waiting to hear from former News of the World editor and current editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News Colin Myler on this.

Murdoch tossed him under the bus too.

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