"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hacking Testimony of James Murdoch is Disputed

We were hard on the Wall Street Journal several days ago when they did their attack piece on other news agencies while defending News Corp which we thought was over the top and not something we would have expected out of the Wall Street Journal.  Today we are extremely happy to report the Journal is back on track with this in-depth report.  On their site they have background information that goes with this article including the connections that have not been included in other stories on the scandal.

Makes you wonder if the former owners speaking out have made a difference at The Journal since they are not the least bit happy with Murdoch.  With this latest revelation, seems that the most logical conclusion to save News Corp would be to have the Murdoch's hand over control.  This is only going to get worse as more keeps coming out.  Personally would like to see The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones sold so the Journal can go back to being the business paper everyone wants to read in the morning before starting the work day.

The reporters at the WSJ have done an excellent job with this article and it starts to gain credibility bacl.
Hacking Testimony Is Disputed
July 22, 2011 
Two former executives broke ranks with News Corp. for the first time on Thursday over whether James Murdoch knew in 2008 that the phone-hacking scandal at the company's now-defunct U.K. tabloid likely involved more than just one rogue reporter, as the company had long maintained. 
The rupture in the ranks comes as News Corp. is under pressure over a key piece of its defense against phone-hacking allegations: a 2007 internal investigation by an outside law firm. That inquiry appears to have been less rigorous than company executives have said. 
On Thursday, Colin Myler, former editor of the News of the World tabloid, and Tom Crone, a former lawyer for the paper, said in a joint statement that in 2008 they informed Mr. Murdoch, now News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer, about a crucial email suggesting that phone hacking went beyond one reporter. Mr. Murdoch on Tuesday said before a parliamentary committee in the U.K. that he had never been made aware of the email—even though he had approved a roughly £700,000 settlement ($1.1 million) in the matter.
In a statement, Mr. Murdoch said, "I stand by my testimony." The settlement was one of his first major decisions after becoming head of News Corp.'s Europe and Asia operations in 2007. He didn't work at News Corp. at the time of the alleged hacking.

The two executives' statement amounts to an unusual public rebuke by long-serving allies of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, who is the father of James. Mr. Myler edited the New York Post before returning to the U.K. to run the News of the World in 2007. Mr. Crone had made his name defending the company's racy tabloids in court. 
Separately, the Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary investigations into News Corp. relating to alleged foreign bribery and alleged hacking of voice mail of Sept. 11 victims, according to a government official. While the company has sought to isolate the legal problems in the U.K., it has been bracing for increased scrutiny from both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the company's strategy. Final approval to issue the subpoenas hasn't yet happened, the official said.
A person close to News Corp. said the preparation of subpoenas is "a fishing expedition with no evidence to support it." 
Meantime, News Corp. and its former U.K. law firm are increasingly at odds. 
As recently as last week, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch said the company had hired "the best lawyers in London" to investigate the hacking claims in 2007, providing them with "thousands of documents." Mr. Murdoch said Harbottle & Lewis LLP was hired "to inquire into the whole situation" and that "it was their major mistake in reporting that there was nothing further to worry about." 
However, the law firm's inquiry was limited—not a full-blown investigation but rather a narrow inquiry related to an employment dispute—according to public evidence submitted to parliament and people familiar with the matter. It was based on a review of at least 300 emails forwarded to the law firm by two executives at News International, the media company's U.K. newspaper unit, according to the parliamentary committee evidence. The law firm's remit was limited to whether or not five staffers at the News of the World tabloid knew about one reporter's illegal hacking activities or had engaged in similar activities, according to evidence submitted by News International to a parliament committee.

Furthermore, the batch of emails also contained evidence of police bribery, according to a lawyer recently hired by News Corp. to review some of them. The indications of bribery weren't reported to the police until last month, according to News Corp.; it isn't clear why. The recently hired lawyer, a former U.K. prosecutor and current News Corp. adviser, Ken MacDonald, on Tuesday told a parliamentary committee that the nine or 10 emails he reviewed contained "blindingly obvious" evidence of bribes. 
Lord MacDonald and other legal specialists said British lawyers generally don't have a duty to report crimes to authorities because advice to clients is privileged. But lawyers said it would be typical to alert a client if evidence of serious wrongdoing were found.  
Excerpt:  Read more at The Wall Street Journal and follow the web of connections that the WSJ  has laid out for readers.

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