James Murdoch was telling the truth when he told Britain’s Parliament he didn't know the extent of phone hacking at the News of the World, says the paper’s former head reporter. His subordinates “kept him in the dark,” Neville Thurlbeck—the man seemingly addressed in an email at the center of the case—tells Reuters. The younger Murdoch was “deprived of vital evidence showing phone hacking went far wider” than the single reporter initially accused.
Thurlbeck says he informed higher-ups about another executive involved in hacking, but they “failed to disclose this critical evidence to Mr. Murdoch,” who “has been kept in the dark by those who he trusted most.” James Murdoch’s Parliamentary testimony “seems entirely credible to me,” Thurlbeck notes. According to a Labour MP, Thurlbeck had claimed the paper’s lawyer told Murdoch about the email’s significance. The MP, Tom Watson, wasn’t providing the full story, Thurlbeck says. (Read more James Murdoch stories.)