Former News International legal manager Tom Crone has described allegations from Rupert Murdoch that he helped orchestrate a cover-up of phone hacking as a "shameful lie."
In a statement released on Thursday, Crone said Murdoch's evidence could "only apply to me": "His assertion that I took charge of a cover-up in relation to phone hacking is a shameful lie."
Murdoch said earlier senior executives were not informed, or misinformed, and "shielded" from what was going on.
"I blame one or two people for that, who perhaps I shouldn't name because for all I know they may be arrested yet," he said.
"The person I am thinking of was a friend of the journalists, drinking pal, and was a clever lawyer and forbade them to go and see the evidence, or there have been statements reporting that this person forbade people to go and report to Mrs Brooks or James (Murdoch).
"That is not to excuse it on our behalf at all, I take it extremely seriously that that situation had arisen," he said.
The news comes as Ofcom escalates its investigation into whether BSkyB remains a "fit and proper" owner of a broadcasting licence.
Tom Crone's full statement:
“Since Rupert Murdoch’s evidence today about a lawyer who had been on the News of the World for many years can only refer to me, I am issuing the following statement.
“His assertion that I “took charge of a cover-up” in relation to phone-hacking is a shameful lie. 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 is 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.”
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