Former Dow Jones chief Les Hinton, who headed News International at the time that its News of the World tabloid was hacking into the voicemail of politicians and celebrities, was questioned by video hookup by a Parliamentary committee today about his knowledge of the illegal interceptions. In particularly members of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee wanted to know why, in the light of recent revelations that phone hacking was widespread at the tabloid, did he testify in 2009 that it was limited to a single "rogue reporter." Hinton replied that his testimony was truthful at the time and only during the last two years did he realize "that there was much more to this affair than was apparent when I left." When a member of the committee pointed out that Clive Goodman -- the rogue reporter -- had sent him a letter in 2007 pointing out that phone hacking was widely discussed by reporters and Editors at News of the World , Hinton replied, "I don't think I would regard Mr. Goodman's claims as evidence of anything. ... At the end of it we could discover no basis of what he was claiming." Hinton also appeared to sidestep a question about why he had authorized payment of Goodman's legal fees and those of private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

25/10/2011