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“I decided at the time that the right thing to do was to settle this and put it behind us,” Mr. Hinton said, giving evidence by video link from the United States.

The phone-hacking scandal has forced the resignation of two of London’s top police officers and claimed the job of Prime Minister David Cameron’s former spin doctor, Andy Coulson, an ex-News of the World editor. More than a dozen people have been arrested in the past year, including Mr. Coulson, though none has yet been charged.

Rupert Murdoch‘s global News Corp. has expressed contrition, launched an internal inquiry and set aside 20 million pounds ($32 million) to compensate victims, who could number in the hundreds. Dozens of alleged hacking victims, from lawmakers and sports figures to Hollywood star Jude Law, are suing the company.

In previous appearances before the committee in 2007 and 2009, Mr. Hinton said he had seen no evidence that phone hacking went beyond a single rogue reporter, Mr. Goodman.

On Monday he denied he had misled the committee, but he said “the full picture” of what had happened was still emerging.

“I think it’s clear … that some of the answers you were given were not accurate,” Mr. Hinton said. “Whether ‘untruthful’ is the right word, I don’t know.”

Mr. Hinton claimed he was hazy on details of what happened several years ago, answering, “I don’t remember” or “I am foggy on this detail,” to several questions — to the exasperation of some members of the committee.

Labor lawmaker Paul Farrelly asked whether Mr. Hinton thought he had been “kept in the dark” by those beneath him.

“I can’t answer that question,” Mr. Hinton said, “as I don’t know what happened.”