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Phone-hacking scandal: ‘Rogue’ thing was off

The Guardian today reports another in the string of explosive revelations about the conduct of News Corp.’s conduct in the phone-hacking affair: A lawyer working on behalf of News Corp.’s News International — the company’s British news arm — has told Parliament that he knew that the company’s excuse, that the hacking was the work of a “rogue” reporter, was bogus.

The lawyer’s firm, Farrer & Co., has also done work for the British monarchy.

When asked by Labour MP Paul Farrelly how he would feel about newspaper headlines that might read “Queen’s solicitors knew News of the World was lying and did nothing about it”, [lawyer Julian] Pike replied: “That sort of headline is obviously not ideal.” But he insisted that Farrer & Co was not part of a cover-up and denied he was embarrassed professionally by his decision to stay silent.

Pike said that client confidentiality had kept him from coming forth with the revelation that the hacking was more widespread than News Corp. officials had claimed.

Put together with previous disclosures from top News International executives, this latest development will do more to hem in top News Corp. lieutenant James Murdoch, who has clung to the ever-more-dubious-appearing line of argument that he didn’t know about this, didn’t know about that, didn’t know about this other thing.

This scandal is bottomless.

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