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James Murdoch was told of 'News of the World' troubles, ex-employees say

LONDON — James Murdoch's former legal adviser and a former editor at the now-defunct News of the World contested the testimony he gave to British lawmakers, saying he was told years ago about an e-mail that suggested the rot at his Sunday tabloid was widespread.

The statements of former editor Colin Myler and former lawyer Tom Crone could deal a blow to the credibility of Rupert Murdoch's son as the family struggles to limit the damage from the phone-hacking scandal.

"I stand by my testimony to the select committee," James Murdoch said in response Thursday.

Meanwhile Scotland Yard, which is still reeling from allegations that it turned a blind eye to the scandal, was asked to investigate another explosive claim: that journalists bribed officers to locate people by tracking their cell phone signals.

The practice is known as "pinging" because of the way cell phone signals bounce off relay towers as they try to find reception. Jenny Jones, a member of the board that oversees the Metropolitan Police Authority, called for the inquiry into the alleged payoffs by journalists at Murdoch's News of the World.

James Murdoch, in a grilling by lawmakers on Tuesday, batted away claims that he knew the full extent of the illegal espionage at the News of the World when he approved a massive payout in 2008 to soccer players' association chief Gordon Taylor, one of the phone hacking victims.

Also on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that News Corp.'s political action committee increased its donations in June, giving more than $50,000 to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Ex-editor lived in Florida, to face police

Greg Miskiw, a former news editor at the News of the World who left Britain after it was alleged he repeatedly authorized illegal voicemail hacking, is to return to Britain to face questioning by police, according to the Daily Telegraph of London. Miskiw has been living in Delray Beach. Separately, News Corp. said it fired a Sun employee. Ex-employees said the man was features editor Matt Nixson and the BBC said phone hacking was alleged.

James Murdoch was told of 'News of the World' troubles, ex-employees say 07/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 21, 2011 11:18pm]
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