Two former News International staff, Tom Crone and Colin Myler, alleged James Murdoch gave faulty information in his July 19 testimony to the Parliament’s committee looking into phone hacking, as iMediaEThics has previously written.
Crone is News Group Newspapers’ former “legal manager” and Myler was editor of News of the World when it closed in July, according to the Telegraph.
This week, the two distanced themselves from being included in any “phone hacking cover-up at News International,” Journalism.co.uk reported.
The two appeared before Parliament today and claimed that “they clearly informed News International chairman James Murdoch of the seriousness of the contents of the so-called ‘For Neville’ email, which suggested phone hacking was more widespread than first suggested by the company,” according to the Guardian.
However, News International’s former legal affairs director, Jonathan Chapman, denied that there was “evidence of widespread” phone hacking at News of the World, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Chapman’s claims were also made in front of Parliament today.
Also, News International’s former human resources director, Daniel Cloke, dismissed former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman’s claims that phone hacking “was commonplace,” according to Reuters. Goodman, as StinkyJournalism has written, alleged in a 2007 letter that News of the World was aware that phone hacking went on at the newspaper. He was jailed in 2007 for hacking phones.
In response to those claims, Cloke claimed that News International looked into the charges, reviewed e-mails and interviewed employees.
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Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who resigned as UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications in January, won’t be investigated by the parliamentary standards commissioner, according to the Guardian.
Coulson, who has denied phone hacking during his time as editor at News of the World, reportedly continued to receive money from News International while he was working for Cameron. The money and other in-kind payments (“a company car,” for example) were part of his “severance payments” after his 2007 resignation from News of the World, the Guardian explained.
Meanwhile, in a separate story, the Guardian reported that comedian Steve Coogan, who recently received a court-ordered letter from News of the World private investigator Glenn Mulcaire identifying the newspaper employees who engaged in phone hacking, explained that he filed his lawsuit against the newspaper accusing it of hacking because of Andy Coulson’s position in the government.
“What motivated me was seeing Andy Coulson [the paper’s former editor] gaining a modicum of respectability standing next to David Cameron,” Coogan is quoted as saying: “I remember thinking ‘Andy Coulson should not be at the heart of power.’ That was my gut instinct. That man shouldn’t be there.”
Mulcaire’s letter is currently not being made public.
Coogan argued that phone hacking “is symptomatic of a wider malaise afflicting the tabloid press.”
According to the Guardian, Coogan has so far spent “more than £100,000” in his lawsuit against News of the World.