News Corp’s James Murdoch has until Thursday to respond to questions from Members of Parliament, relating to allegations that he misled them during his testimony in July.
Thursday is the deadline for submitting supplementary evidence, according to The Guardian, which Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has requested from Murdoch in relation to his July 19 testimony.
Some of those questions stem from allegations by three former News Of The World employees that Murdoch misled Parliament when he claimed he was unaware of a key piece of evidence during the period when he was settling a hacking victim’s lawsuit. Murdoch said in his testimony that, at the time, he believed the hackings were limited to one NOTW reporter, Clive Goodman, and he was not informed of a memo that implicated a second reporter, Neville Thurlbec, as well.
Colin Myler and Tom Crone, respectively the editor and legal manager of News of the World at the time, say they showed Murdoch the evidence before the case was settled. If true, this allegation would suggest that Murdoch knew more than he’s let on about the extent of the phone hacking at NOTW.
Jon Chapman, the former director of legal affairs for News International, said he believed there were “serious inaccuracies” in Murdoch’s testimony, though he was vague on the specifics.
Myler, Crone and Chapman also have until Thursday to submit their evidence.
Last month, the committee voted down a bid to recall Murdoch before Parliament immediately, but committee chairman John Whittingdale said that it could still be an option if the committee is not satisfied with Murdoch’s responses to their queries.
The committee is technically recessed, but will meet for a special session on Tuesday to discuss the evidence.
Meanwhile, on Thursday Scotland Yard put communications director Dick Federico on extended leave until the end of the phone hacking investigation. Federico has been scrutinized for hiring Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor of NOTW, as a consultant for Scotland Yard in October 2009. Wallis is among the twelve people arrested in connection with the scandal.
Scotland Yard is currently conducting its second investigation into the phone hackings after it botched the initial investigation in 2006. The police department has been accused of scuttling the investigation because of its tight relationship with News Of The World reporters. Scotland Yard is also investigating allegations that several police officers received bribes from reporters.