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James Murdoch 'mistaken' in select committee evidence, say Myler and Crone

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 02:31 PM
Original message
James Murdoch 'mistaken' in select committee evidence, say Myler and Crone
Source: The Guardian

Paper's ex-editor and head of legal challenge News Corp executive's statement to MPs at phone-hacking hearing


In a brief but potentially highly damaging broadside, two former News of the World senior executives claimed the evidence he gave in relation to an out-of-court settlement to Taylor was "mistaken".

Colin Myler, editor of the paper until it was closed two weeks ago, and Tom Crone, the paper's former head of legal affairs who left News International last week, issued a two-paragraph statement late on Thursday challenging Murdoch's version of events in 2008.

In their statement, Myler and Crone said: "Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's culture, media, select committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.

"In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers."From the BBC

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/21/james-murdo...



From the BBC:

The BBC's business editor Robert Peston said the chairman of the select committee, John Whittingdale, is now expecting James Murdoch to submit in writing the reasons why he was disputing the claims of Mr Myler and Mr Crone.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14242763
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Murdoch wasn't under oath in front of the MP's, which I think was a cardinal error. nt
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smaug Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No, it wasn't.
The Murdochs were deliberately not under oath. Therefore, "mistatements" or outright lies carry no likelihood of incrimination.

I believe that being put under oath in front of UK Parlimentary committees is not a standard practice. Remember, the Tories (who control Parliament) stand to lose quite a bit of power if News International is criminalized.


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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I'm not sure what the penalties, if any, are for lying to a parliamentary
inquiry commission.

It may be different from lying to Congress when you are not under oath.
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Selena Harris Donating Member (273 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. So what's the point of testifying at all?
If it isn't binding-what is the purpose?
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. It's still potentially contempt of parliament; under oath it would be perjury
From a lawyer, just before the Murdochs appeared at the committee:

Some people must be wondering whether the evidence will be given on oath. Thats very unusual in select committee hearings, but the chairman does have power to administer an oath. I very much doubt he will, though, since it makes little difference. If a witness lies under oath in the committee, he or she will be guilty of perjury but that perjury would be punishable only by the House of Commons, not in the courts. If he or she lies not under oath, that would surely amount to contempt of Parliament again, punishable by the House. In either case, the punishments available would be the same.
...
Sir George Young, Leader of the House, said last week that the Committee on Standards and Privileges (to which any refusal to answer questions would be referred) could fine a witness; Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, said that was wrong. According to Erskine May, Parliament has seemed to accept for some time that it cannot impose fines (unlike the House of Lords, oddly), based on non-binding judicial statements (obiter dicta, in legal jargon) in a couple of 18th century cases that said the Commons is not a court of record. A number of Parliamentary committees since the 1960s have recommended that Parliament legislate to put the power to fine beyond doubt but it never has. It ought to do so now as a matter of urgency.

Whats not in doubt is the Houses power to imprison someone for contempt though only until the end of the Parliament, according to Lord Chief Justice Denman in Stockdale v Hansard back in 1839. That limitation might, one day, prove very important: if someone were imprisoned against the background of a major national scandal that forced a general election, he or she would have to be released soon after the election was called. Parliament hasnt actually imprisoned anyone since 1880, as it happens. I detect, though, in recent years, an increasing assertiveness or arrogance from MPs; Im certainly not making any sort of prediction about this case, but I would not entirely exclude the possibility of Parliaments seriously making the threat of imprisonment again before long.

http://www.headoflegal.com/2011/07/19/the-select-commit... /


That's what potentially could be done; reading the Commons factsheet on the penal powers of the house (linked to via the New Statesman column the first link mentions; the writer is a lawyer who also blogs as 'Jack of Kent', and is pretty good - worth going to if you want to find out about libel reform in the UK) it seems it's been rarely used recently for non-members. For the Murdochs, I would think that their biggest problem could be that misleading Parliament like that could well make them seem not 'fit and proper' to keep their 39% stake in BSkyB.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, muriel_volestrangler. :thumbsup:
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. The Murdochs were not under oath, just like Dick and Bush were
not under oath...everyone knows the crooks are above the law and will get away with it. No oath, no worries.
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