A new set of emails released on Tuesday are sure to cause further trouble for the beleaguered James Murdoch, who has been severely weakened by the phone hacking scandal.
The emails shed yet more light on what has become the crucial episode for Murdoch: the June 2008 meetings News International had about soccer union chief Gordon Taylor's lawsuit against the company. Taylor's phone had been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, and he was suing News International and threatening to reveal the criminality at the News of the World. Murdoch has staunchly maintained that he was never told of the reasons behind Taylor's suit -- only that the company was likely to lose and should pay Taylor a hefty settlement.
The new emails go even further towards weakening Murdoch's claims. They show that former News of the World editor Colin Myler sent Murdoch an email about Gordon Taylor which read, "Unfortunately it is as bad as we feared. The note from Julian Pike of Farrer's is extremely telling regarding Taylor's vindictiveness. It would be helpful if [legal director] Tom Crone and I could have five minutes with you on Tuesday. Colin."
Murdoch responded quickly, writing, "No worries. I am in during the afternoon. If you want to talk before I'll be home tonight after seven and most of the day tomorrow."
Attached to Myler's email, however, is a chain of his conversations with Crone as well as Mark Lewis, Gordon Taylor's lawyers. The emails make multiple references to phone hacking and to Glenn Mulcaire and make it clear that Taylor was looking to expose the wrongdoing at the News of the World.
In his letter to the committee, Murdoch said that he was "confident" that he did not read the full chain, because he was responding quickly and from his Blackberry. He maintained his prior assertions that he was never made aware of the reasons behind the Taylor settlement.James Murdoch's New Evidence PH 50 Letter From Linklaters to Chairman 12 Dec 2011