James Murdoch faces another grilling

LONDON: British MPs are poised to recall James Murdoch for a second grilling in Parliament over the phone hacking scandal.

LONDON: British MPs are poised to recall James Murdoch for a second grilling in Parliament over the phone hacking scandal.

It follows a series of claims made by former News International senior executives that Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, knew about the widespread prevalence of phone-hacking back in 2008.

The Conservative MP John Whittingdale rejected a bid for an immediate fresh hearing but indicated a second examination was likely to be held soon.

Jon Chapman, the former head of corporate and legal affairs at News International, reportedly said there were "serious inaccuracies" in statements Mr Murdoch made to MPs.

The former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former legal manager Tom Crone also accused the head of News Corp in Europe and Asia of being "mistaken" when he said he was unaware of an email containing the transcripts of hacked voicemails. The pair insist they had informed him of the email when he approved a reported #700,000 out-of-court settlement with Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, in 2008.

Meanwhile, New York Post staffers have been told to preserve any documents that may relate to phone hacking or pay-offs to officials, as News Corp prepares for an investigation of its British operations to reach across the Atlantic.

The Post's Australian-born editor, Col Allan, sent a memo to staff on Friday asking them to comply with the request from company lawyers.

Allan wrote that as the scandal at News Corp's News of the World tabloid unfolded in Britain "we knew that as a News Corporation tabloid, we would be looked at more closely".

The US Attorney-General, Eric Holder, plans to meet on August 24 with family members of victims of the September 11 attacks, about an FBI inquiry into allegations that News of the World journalists attempted to bribe a former New York policeman to obtain victims' phone records.

In more developments related to the phone hacking scandal, the mother of an eight-year-old British girl murdered by a paedophile says she was "very distressed and upset" as she spoke for the first time since news broke that she may have been hacked by a private investigator.

Sara Payne, who worked closely with the News of the World to campaign for tougher child protection laws, vowed to challenge "the bad apples head-on" and to play an active part in preventing it happening again.

Ms Payne spoke hours after the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's legal team said he acted "on the instructions of others", strongly rejecting suggestions that he "unilaterally" hacked into voicemails of victims without the newspaper's knowledge.

And The Times reported yesterday that Prince William expressed disappointment to James Murdoch and the former chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks at a meeting in January that no one had apologised for hacking his aides' phones.

During the lunch meeting at a five-star hotel in north Wales, the prince is reported to have said that "it would have been nice if someone at the time had apologised".

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