Is this the smoking gun?

James Murdoch

We are often reminded that the cover-up can be worse than the initial crime. At is most extreme we saw the end of an American presidency with Richard Nixon. Today, instead of it being Nixon’s tapes we get James Murdoch’s emails.

We have to remember that the younger Murdoch’s defense has been he didn’t know that there was anything more than one rogue News of the World reporter, Clive Goodman, hacking phones until 2010. Faced with the likes of ex-senior executives like Tom Crone and Colin Myler saying that he was told much earlier and that was why he agreed to the very high settlement with Gordon Taylor, he states they must be mistaken or worse.

From yesterday’s Leveson inquiry we now have proof that Murdoch was included in, and answered an email in mid-2008 that talked about the problem of an untrue rogue reporter defense caused by the Gordon Taylor court case. You can read the email for yourself on the Guardian’s website here. James Murdoch’s defense on this is that he didn’t read the whole email just the first part from Colin Myler. You can read his letter explaining this to the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee also on the Guardian’s website here.

Why is this important? Well first a relatively minor part in that it shows he could have being lying to the committee at his last witness session with them. It certainly tend to back up Myler and Crone’s account of what Murdoch knew. The major part is that if he had read and knew that there was more than one rogue reporter involved he should be charged with perverting the course of justice. In many ways this is a bigger crime than the original hacking and seeing that two people have already served prison time, how would it be fair if their boss didn’t have to do the same.

Of course the law should back innocence until proven guilty, but James Murdoch should prove his innocence of any charge in front of a jury. There seems no reason now why the Met should not arrest and charge James Murdoch.

If because of his connections to the prime minister, other politicians and the Met, Murdoch is not charged, what fairness does that show to the two boys who were sent down on Monday for three years each for encouraging a riot on Facebook last summer; especially as it was a riot in Dundee that never happened.

  • Chuckster

    “Of course the law should back innocence until proven guilty, but James Murdoch should prove his innocence of any charge in front of a jury.”

    Er…so which is it? Either someone proves him guilty, or your new and sinister Orwellian standard of someone proving himself innocent? You seem to be advocating both.

    • LesAbbey

      Yes Chuckster my wording wasn’t the best there was it? I guess it should be the state proving his guilt. Or how about Murdoch testing his innocence in front of a jury? I really don’t want to change any laws or our justice system for James Murdoch, but I do worry others might.

    • swatantra

      Good point. But ignorance is no defence.
      Jnr got the email and skimmed the first couple of sentences, and didn’t take in the full consequences of what he’d read. We’ve all done that: read a post or comment and decided the bloke is talking rubbish and not bothered to read the rest of it.
      But thats no excuse. He or his assistants should have read the whole text and alerted him and notified it to him.
      We also have the news that Mulcare may have been telling the truth about not deleting Milly Dowlers voice mails.
      But the fact that hacking took place, and people knew about it higher up should make them vicariously liable.
      It wouldn’t be the first time that a Newspaper boss has been sent to jail; Conrad Black was. The fact is more should be, just to teach the bosses a lesson.

      • LesAbbey

        Jnr got the email and skimmed the first couple of sentences, and didn’t take in the full consequences of what he’d read.

        Swatantra you could almost get away with that except in scanning those first couple of lines he would have read this:

        Unfortunately it is as bad we feared.

        Notice the ‘we’ feared. Not ‘I’ feared. I guess he could bring over that guy who defended O J Simpson.

  • Anonymous

    Crime is committed will he stand trial, somehow I doubt it.

  • Andy Williams

    I know it’s off-topic, but for those of you who struggle to understand the ins-and-outs of the technical side of the financial crisis, this gut explains it very very well.

  • swatantra

    The Levenson Enquiry seems to be ploddng along at an extremely slow and long drawnout pace that the danger is people will simply get bored with it.
    The fact is when it eventually grinds to a halt b****er all will come out of it.
    The recommndations if any will be shelved and any measures taken diluted. So all that public money will be wasted. We had the same with MPs Expenses and Kellys proposals and the new Scrutiny body panne by most MPs. Which goes to prove the point that Govts set up Inuires to buy time and to show they are ‘taking action’, when in reality they are not.
    The only Inquiry that I can recall that produced a sea change in the public bodywas MacPherson.
    McKenzie  gave evidence yesterday and did a good impression of Major. But the exSUN Editor thinks Coulson and Cameron will be in hot water. He also said Brown rahg up the SUN furious that the SUN had withdrawn their upport in 2008 for the Party. Brown denies making the call. One of them is lying. We need more PMs and Ex PMs o be summoned to give evidence under oath so we can get to the truth.

    • LesAbbey

      I guess one of the problems is that the Leveson inquiry can’t move faster than the police inquiries. That the police are not moving very fast is unfortunate but maybe connected with the fact that some of their own are very much involved in the wrong-doing.

      • swatantra

        The Polce should have carried out their pricedures first,, arrested and charged the culprits and the Courts put them away for a bit in jai. Only then should te Enquiry have been set up. They got it the wrong way around, yet again. The delay simply means that Due Process somehow turns ‘cold’. The ‘culprits use the old excuse of not saying too much to Levenson, ‘for fear of prejudicing and implicating themselves and others etc’ should crimnal investigations take place.

        • Daniel Speight

          I think the idea is that the inquiry finishes off after the police one has ended. The problem for Cameron is that there could be a lot going on with the likes of Coulson about the time of the next election.

          Let’s not forget one thing also. Somewhere along the line there has to be a discussion on media ownership and whether we should have tighter laws similar to the US, something I’m very much in favour of.