Former News International lawyer Tom Crone has issued a furious response to allegations made by Rupert Murdoch that he was complicit in a cover up of the phone-hacking scandal at the Newsof the World.
Murdoch told the Leveson inquiry that he and senior executives were not informed, misinformed and “shielded” from what was going on as part of a cover-up.
In his statement Crone said the allegations were a “shameful lie”, adding: “The same applies to his assertions that I misinformed senior executives about what was going on and that I forbade people from reporting to Rebekah Brooks or to James Murdoch.
“It’s perhaps no coincidence that the two people he has identified in relation to his cover-up allegations are the same two people who pointed out that his son’s evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee last year was inaccurate.
“The fact that Mr Murdoch’s attack on Colin Myler and myself may have been personal as well as being wholly wrong greatly demeans him.”
When Crone appeared in front of Lord Justice Leveson in December he revealed that he gave the newspaper group legal advice over phone-hacking as far back as 2004.
When counsel to the inquiry, 39 Essex Street’s Robert Jay QC, asked whether he had advised News International about phone-hacking, Crone said he had done so “several times” after the arrests of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and former royal editor Clive Goodman in 2006.