James Murdoch rejects latest hacking accusations

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LONDON (Reuters) - James Murdoch on Tuesday rejected allegations that he had known as early as 2008 that phone hacking had been widespread at the News of the World tabloid, in response to evidence given in parliament by two former employees.

Tom Crone, the former head of legal affairs for News Corp's UK newspaper arm, told a powerful parliamentary committee earlier on Tuesday that he had told Murdoch in 2008 of an email which revealed the involvement of other journalists.

Colin Myler, the paper's editor when it was shut in July, also backed up that statement.

The company had long argued that the hacking of phones to secure stories was carried out by one rogue reporter, Clive Goodman, with the help of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, until that defense crumbled earlier this year under a host of revelations.

"Neither Mr Myler nor Mr Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond Mr Goodman or Mr Mulcaire," James Murdoch said in a statement. "As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary."

News International also said it found the evidence given by Myler and Crone to be "unclear and contradictory."

(Reporting by Kate Holton)