Murdoch says he didn’t read email about phone-hacking lawsuit

A newly discovered email complicates James Murdoch’s contention that he was not aware of the extent of so-called phone-hacking at News of the World. In the June 2008 email, former News of the World editor Colin Myler asked for a quick meeting with Murdoch to discuss a lawsuit brought by football player Gordon Taylor for phone-hacking. “Unfortunately it is as bad as we feared,” Myler wrote. He forwarded Murdoch messages from lawyers Tom Crone and Julian Pike, including one in which Pike said Taylor wanted “to demonstrate that what happened to him is/was rife throughout the organisation” and demanded a big settlement to keep quiet. Murdoch says of the email: “Given the timing of my response, just over two minutes after Mr. Myler had sent his email to me, and the fact that I typically received emails on my BlackBerry on weekends, I am confident that I did not review the full email chain at the time or afterwards, nor do I recall a conversation with Mr. Myler over that weekend.”

NPR’s David Folkenflik reacts on Twitter: “Given new disclosure, any person not in employ of News Intl/News Corp would struggle (at best) to believe James Murdoch’s account … By own account, James Murdoch is astonishingly indifferent CEO. Not reading more of email chain w warning, ‘it is as bad as we feared’?”

Related: Police now believe that News of the World journalists were not responsible for deleting one of Milly Dowler’s voice mails; former editor says the Guardian is partly to blame for tabloid’s closure (Guardian, The New York Times)

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