The former editor and chief legal counsel of the News of the World say that James Murdoch was “mistaken” about a key piece of evidence in his testimony before the Parliament Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Tuesday.
Murdoch, Chairmand and CEO of News Corp. International, was asked a series of questions about an out-of-court settlement made to Gordon Taylor, the former head of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
In his testimony, Murdoch denied knowledge of an e-mail between a News of the World reporter and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire containing transcripts of hacked messages between Taylor and Jo Armstrong, a legal advisor for the PFA.
MPs were trying to find out whether Murdoch had known about the hacking when he approved the payment, as that would have implied the hacking was a cause of the payment.
In a statement posted on the Guardian, Colin Myler, the editor of the World before it was shuttered, and Tom Crone, former News International legal manager, claim that they did inform Murdoch of the e-mail.
Murdoch has since issued a statement standing by his testimony, but if it turns out he was lying this could be another threat to his position. The chariman of the committee, John Whittingdale, told the Guardian that he considered the e-mail "one of the most critical peices of evidence in the whole inquiry" and will ask Murdoch to explain his testimony.
The transcripts were to be sent to Neville Thurlbeck, a reporter who has since been arrested for suspected phone hacking. Mulcaire is a private investigator who was jailed back in 2007 and continues to be a key figure in the investigation.