LONDON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A former News of the World executive told British lawmakers that his former boss, James Murdoch, knew that the phone-hacking scandal went beyond one reporter.
Tom Crone, former legal manager at the defunct weekly tabloid, told members of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee Tuesday he was "certain" he told the News International chief about the existence of an e-mail outlining the scandal during a meeting in 2008, contradicting what Murdoch told a parliamentary hearing in July, The Guardian reported.
"I am absolutely [and] perfectly prepared to accept that he's [Murdoch] got his recollection wrong," Crone said.
The scandal erupted this summer with revelations that News of the World arranged to illegally access the phone messages of British royalty and others, including crime victims, between 2005 and 2006. The paper's parent company, media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., shut down News of the World in July. British police made more than a dozen arrests.
In a statement issued by News International, Murdock said he stands by his testimony, noting that the company considered Tuesday's testimony was "unclear and contradictory."
"As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary," Murdoch said in the statement.
While Crone and Colin Myler told the hearing they were certain Murdoch knew more than he told lawmakers, two other ex-News of the World executives Jonathan Chapman, News International's former director of legal affairs, and Daniel Cloke, the organization's former group director for human resources -- said they didn't what Murdoch knew or when he knew it, the Guardian said.
Chapman says the company conducted a "careful and diligent exercise" investigating the claims, insisting e-mails on the matter were "quite chatty" that sometimes included embellishments, The Guardian reported.
"We did what I thought was a careful and diligent exercise back in 2007," he said. "We didn't find anything that amounted to reasonable evidence of voicemail interception."
Chapman said it was "difficult to recall" specific e-mails, though.
The hearing also learned of an anonymous letter sent to the House of Commons committee overseeing media matters by a senior member of News International warning that the panel was dealing with "ruthless and well-connected individuals" who would try to cover up the truth about what happened at News of the World.