Documents cast new doubt on James Murdoch’s denial

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Former newspaper editor Paul Connew told Sky News television that the publication of the new allegations that the pair misled Parliament “has been one of the startling developments of the saga so far.” He predicted that Rupert Murdoch “will have to look very carefully at whether James‘ position is tenable.”

The long-simmering scandal was first aired in 2006, when Goodman was arrested.

The correspondence released Tuesday included a 4-year-old letter by Goodman warning of what many have long suspected _ and what News International has long denied _ that eavesdropping was widely used at the News of the World and that senior figures there approved the practice.

The letter also alleges that Goodman was repeatedly promised his job back as long as he did not implicate anyone else at the News of the World during his trial _ buttressing allegations that the newspaper group had tried to buy his silence.

“If Goodman’s letter is accurate … the whole foundation of the company’s defense for the last three years collapses,” opposition lawmaker Tom Watson told Sky. “Day by day, week by week, we’re slowly getting the facts.”

Watson was one of the committee members who said it was likely to recall James Murdoch to answer more questions about phone hacking at the News of the World, telling journalists earlier that “it is likely we will take Murdoch back.”

“There seems to be a question as to whether James Murdoch himself misled the committee,” Watson said. “We have not reached a conclusion on that.”

Committee Chairman John Whittingdale said there are no plans to recall Rupert Murdoch, who gave evidence to the committee alongside his son on July 19.

Meanwhile, police are investigating claims the News of the World illegally accessed cell phone messages and bribed police to get information on celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

News International said in a statement Tuesday that “we recognize the seriousness of materials disclosed to the police and Parliament and are committed to working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities.”

It did not address the specifics of the allegations made against the Murdochs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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