British police should investigate claims that News Corp executive James Murdoch gave "mistaken" testimony to a parliamentary committee, says opposition Labour lawmaker Tom Watson.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 22, 2011) ITN - It emerged on Friday (July 22) that the FBI are investigating the possibility that British actor Jude Law may have had his phone hacked while visiting the U.S.
The claims raise the possibility of phone hacking charges against News Corp being brought overseas to the U.S. due to the fact that Law was using his cell phone on a U.S. network.
The news came the same day that opposition Labour lawmaker Tom Watson said that British police should investigate claims that News Corp executive James Murdoch gave "mistaken" testimony to a parliamentary committee.
"I think that this is the most significant moment in two years of the hacking scandal. If Myler and Crone are accurate in their statement then it shows that James Murdoch was aware of phone hacking in 2008, not only did he fail to act he failed to report the matter to the police, and because he's paid a huge amount of money to buy the silence of Gordon Taylor, I think he's probably facing an investigation for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. That's a very serious charge, I should just say that he obviously stands by his version of events," Watson said.
"The statement by Tom Crone and Colin Myler is so significant that I think that whatever my committee do now, it's really irrelevant, it's a police matter, and I'm referring the matter to Sue Akers, the head of Operation Weeting at the Metropolitan Police this morning."
Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and Tom Crone, former senior legal officer for News Corp's British newspapers, have disputed Murdoch's claim that he was unaware of an e-mail that suggested that wrongdoing at the tabloid went beyond one rogue reporter. The e-mail, written to News of The World's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, detailed transcripts of numerous voicemails intercepted by journalists at the newspaper.
"The 'For Neville' e-mail is significant because it shows that others were involved in hacking phones at the company, and that there was knowledge of transcripts of hacked voice mail messages by at least one, and probably two other journalists at the time," Watson said, "If therefore James Murdoch was made aware of this in 2008, it means that the entire evidence given to the initial enquiry was not just misleading, it was completely factually inaccurate, and also could mean that a crime was covered up at the company, and that's a very serious matter."