Last updated: September 7, 2011 - 8:43am
After a month’s lull, the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire resumed with fresh intensity on August 6. Murdoch’s son James clashed publicly with two former senior news executives over a meeting that parliamentary investigators have identified as a critical milestone in attempts by some of his father’s trusted lieutenants to contain the scandal.
The two former executives said at a parliamentary hearing that they had informed James Murdoch, chief of News Corporation’s European and Asian operations, at a 15-minute meeting in London in 2008 that the hacking of voice mail as a reporting tool went beyond the work by a lone “rogue” reporter and a private investigator that the company had acknowledged at the time. The men said they had conveyed that message as part of a plan to win Mr. Murdoch’s backing for a record $1.4 million settlement that bound a hacking victim to silence about his case. The former executives — Tom Crone, former legal manager for the Murdoch-owned newspapers in Britain, and Colin Myler, former editor of the now-defunct News of the World — said the settlement had been intended to avoid millions in legal costs, but several members of Parliament suggested that it was part of a cover-up intended to buy the hacking victim’s silence and prevent the scandal from spreading.
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