Lawyer: James Murdoch was shown hacking evidence

“I was not aware of evidence that pointed to widespread wrongdoing or indicated that further investigation was necessary,” Murdoch said in a letter to lawmakers, dated Dec. 12, but published Tuesday.

In new evidence from the parliamentary committee released Wednesday, Crone acknowledged that the tabloid had checked electoral and birth records in a hunt for evidence that two lawyers acting for victims of phone hacking may have had an affair.

Lawyers Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris were both also put under surveillance by the newspaper, as was lawmaker Tom Watson _ a frequent critic of the senior Murdoch.

“Neither check provided any support for the suspicion that Mr. Lewis and Ms. Harris had had or were having a relationship,” Crone said in the letter to the panel of legislators, dated Dec. 11.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered judge Brian Leveson to head an inquiry into press standards following the disclosure that the News of the World had for years illegally eavesdropped on the voice mail messages of public figures.

Actors Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and singer Charlotte Church are among those who have given evidence about how they have suffered press abuse.

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