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James Murdoch: Others, not I, misled Parliament (updated)

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Nov. 10, 2011, 1:40 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch, right, and his son James Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia arrive at his residence in central London, in this Sunday, July 10, 2011 file photo.
© AP

LONDON (AP) — James Murdoch insisted Thursday that he'd told the truth when he said he'd been kept in the dark about the culture of criminality at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid. In comments to often-skeptical and occasionally hostile lawmakers, Murdoch said that his former subordinates were the ones who had misled parliament over who knew what about the phone hacking scandal which has shaken his father Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

"Any suspicion of wider spread wrongdoing, none of that was mentioned to me," the junior Murdoch said.

Murdoch laid the blame squarely at the door of the News of the World's former editor, Colin Myler, and News International's former legal adviser, Tom Crone, both of whom insist that they briefed Murdoch about the damning evidence.

Asked if he thought that Crone had misled Parliament, he said: "It follows that I did, yes."

Asked if he thought that Myler had misled lawmakers as well, he said: "I believe their testimony was misleading, and I dispute it."

But lawmaker Tom Watson disputed Murdoch's account, quoting one of the chief suspects in the phone hacking case as saying that he was told that damning evidence had been seen by James Murdoch.

The finger-pointing follows months of drip-drip revelations which have undermined his credibility.

James Murdoch has repeatedly insisted that he was blind-sided by the scandal at what was once his company's most powerful Sunday tabloid.

Revelations that journalists routinely intercepted the voicemails of public figures, including celebrities, politicians, police, and even crime victims sent shock waves across the British establishment, forcing the closure of the News of the World and scuttling its parent company's multibillion pound (dollar) bid for full control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
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