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James Murdoch accused of mafia style manageme -

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James Murdoch accused of mafia style management

Emma Alberici reported this story on Friday, November 11, 2011 08:15:00

TONY EASTLEY: A parliamentary committee investigating the management of News International has
accused James Murdoch of acting like a mafia boss.

Labor MP Tom Watson said there had been a conspiracy of silence at the media company and no regard
for the law as it pursued its news stories.

On his second appearance at the inquiry, Mr Murdoch told MPs he'd been lied to by two senior
managers at his company about the extent of phone hacking at The News of The World newspaper.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI: Britain's parliamentary committee on culture, media and sport recalled James
Murdoch. They wanted an explanation as to why his previous statements contradicted that of his
former editor Colin Myler and his chief in-house lawyer, Tom Crone.

Those men had told MPs that in 2008 they'd made James Murdoch aware of an incriminating piece of
evidence. It was an email - the contents of which made it apparent that phone hacking at The News
of the World was common practice.

If that document became public it would have undermined management's public statements that the
practice of illegal eavesdropping was confined to quote 'one rogue reporter'.

Tom Crone and Colin Myler testified that that email formed the entire basis of a confidentiality
agreement and 750,000 pound payout to Football Players Association chief Gordon Taylor.

James Murdoch insisted he didn't know about the email or its contents and he never bothered asking
why Gordon Taylor received such a huge sum of money.

JAMES MURDOCH: In the evidence that they gave to you in 2011 with respect to my knowledge, I
thought it was inconsistent and not right and I dispute it vigorously.

QUESTIONER: So you think Mr Crone misled us?

JAMES MURDOCH: It follows that I do, yes.

QUESTIONER: And so do you think Mr Myler misled us as well?

JAMES MURDOCH: I believe their testimony was misleading and I dispute it.

EMMA ALBERICI: Two people had been jailed for phone hacking at the News of the World when James
Murdoch took up his role as executive chairman in London; a private investigator and just one
reporter, the royal correspondent. He was the so-called rogue.

Tory MP Philip Davies was curious as to why James Murdoch wasn't asking questions as to the extent
of phone hacking at his newspapers - why weren't alarm bells ringing when a football chief was paid
off for a criminal offence, activity that until that point had only been admitted by the royal
correspondent, Clive Goodman.

PHILIP DAVIES: Gordon Taylor was not a member of the royal family or the royal household, so did
you not say but he's not royal. The next big settlement was with Max Clifford. Did you ask well, he
is not a member of the royal family either?

EMMA ALBERICI: Labour MP Tom Watson wanted to know if there could be another reason behind the
inconsistencies between his evidence and that of his former editor and chief counsel.

TOM WATSON: Have you ever heard the term Omertà, the mafia term they use for the code of silence?

JAMES MURDOCH: Ah, I am not an aficionado of such things.

TOM WATSON: Mr Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running
a criminal enterprise.

JAMES MURDOCH: Mr Watson, please. I think that is inappropriate. Mr Chairman.

TONY EASTLEY: James Murdoch ending that report from Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.