London: New data released by a British Parliamentary committee raises fresh questions about the reliability of embattled media baron Rupert Murdoch's News International's earlier stand that the group's senior management was not aware of phone-hacking before 2008. (Agencies)
The controversy that rocked Britain's politics, press and police earlier this year is back in the news after the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of the House of Commons on Tuesday evening released documents that provided new information.
The row was once again front page news on Wednesday, with The Independent reporting it under the headline, 'Lies, damned lies and News International'.
The new information included the mention by a barrister that there was a "culture of illegal information access" in the newsrooms of the media group.
Murdoch's media empire in Britain faced considerable reverses after it emerged that its News of the World tabloid indulged in unethical news-gathering practices to secure information that would then be used in sensational news reports.
His son, James Murdoch, now faces further questions after it emerged that the News of the World's own barrister had warned three years ago that there was "overwhelming evidence" that senior journalists were involved in phone- hacking.
Documents released reveal that barrister Michael Silverleaf advised the newspaper in June 2008 to settle its case against Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, who was suing the paper for breach of privacy.
Clive Goodman, the paper's former royal reporter, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, were jailed in 2007 after they admitted to phone hacking.
Murdoch maintains that he was not aware of allegations that other journalists were implicated in illegal voicemail interception before he agreed to pay Taylor a settlement worth 750,000 pounds.
He is scheduled to appear before the committee again on November 10 to explain his earlier stand.
MPs will now want to know whether he had seen Silverleaf's written opinion, which was sent to Tom Crone, the paper's head of legal, before the case against Taylor was settled.
Silverleaf said that there was a "culture of illegal information access" in the newsrooms.
It calls into question the accounts given by Tom Crone, the paper's former head of legal, and Colin Myler, the then editor, to the committee in 2009 when both men said that there was no evidence that other journalists were involved in phone hacking.
Murdoch reportedly had phone calls and meetings with Crone and Myler about Taylor’s case.
MPs are likely to question Murdoch about what exactly he was told during those meetings when he appears before the committee next week.
London: New data released by a British Parliamentary committee raises fresh questions about the reliability of embattled media baron Rupert Murdoch's News International's earlier stand that the group's senior management was not aware of phone-hacking before 2008.