It’s come to this: The News Corp Deputy COO says he saw, but didn’t actually read, a newly released email from 2008 that would demolish a key part of his defense in the News Of The World hacking scandal. The email included a note warning that a hacking victim wanted hush money to hide the fact that the scandal was bigger than News Corp had publicly acknowledged. “Unfortunately, it’s as bad as we feared,” former News Corp lawyer Colin Myler wrote to Murdoch asking for five minutes to discuss the matter. “No worries,” Murdoch replied three minutes later as he proposed times when they could talk.
The documents, released today by the parliamentary committee investigating the scandal, rip at Murdoch’s main defense against the charge that he tried to cover up the full extent of the lawbreaking. Murdoch insists that he did not obstruct justice when he agreed in mid-2008 to pay hacking victim Gordon Taylor — the former head of the Professional Football Association — $1.2M on the condition that he keep quiet about the matter. Murdoch says he really believed at the time what News Corp had said publicly including to Parliament: that the problem was limited to a single, rogue reporter. Yet the email reveals that Taylor knew otherwise and “wishes to be vindicated or made rich.” Taylor (more…)