UPDATE, 4:30 PM: As part of Justice Department and FBI probes into allegations of bribery and the potential hacking of voice mails of 9/11 victims, News Corp today asked employees at its New York Post to save any information related to phone hacking or government bribes. The Wall Street Journal said a memo from editor-in-chief Col Allen said the measure was related to the scandal engulfing the News Corp-owned News of the World and “not because any recipient has done anything improper or unlawful.”
PREVIOUS, 9:37 AM: We have some interesting developments today in the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal:
James Murdoch should prepare himself for another appearance before the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Chairman John Whittingdale said today that “the chances are” members will recall him to determine whether he lied to them last week. Murdoch said he approved a keep-quiet payment to a News Of The World hacking victim two years ago thinking that just one reporter had engaged in the practice. Three former News Corp officials contradicted him, saying that Murdoch had seen an email that made it clear at least one other reporter was involved — suggesting Murdoch was trying to cover up the extent of the scandal. The committee will question Murdoch’s challengers. “If they do come back with statements that are quite plainly different from those given by James Murdoch, we will want to hear James Murdoch’s response to that,” Whittingdale says.
Murdoch also may have a new problem with Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who pleaded guilty in 2007 to hacking for NOTW. In a statement today, Mulcaire says that he was “effectively employed” by NOTW and that “as an employee he acted on the instructions of others.” Last week Murdoch agreed to stop paying for Mulcaire’s legal bills.
Also, today Louise Mensch — a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee — apologized for saying last week that CNN’s Piers Morgan hacked phones when he worked on Fleet Street. Her comment was “based on my misreading of an article in the Daily Telegraph” about Morgan’s book The Insider, she said in a letter to Whittingdale. “The question for me always was illegality confined to the News Of The World and News International titles, or whether those papers had an air of entitlement in a Fleet Street culture where hacking and blagging was in fact widespread.”