James Murdoch Claimed Three Sentence Long Law Firm Memo "Cleared" News International

Under questioning this week by the DCMS Select Committee, James Murdoch said he “relied upon” media law firm Harbottle & Lewis’s report when he and Rebekah Brooks claimed that hacking was the work of one rogue reporter. According to a Bloomberg newswire report Harbottle & Lewis is now seeking clarification from New York-based News Corp., by whom they were retained, about the extent to which its duty of client confidentiality is waived. The lawyer who first reviewed the emails, Lawrence Abramson told the Guardian that “Professional duty of confidentiality prevents me from commenting on this.”

Guido, in an effort to be helpful, is publishing the report. The report is from Lawrence Abramson of Harbottle & Lewis LLP to Jon Chapman, the in-house counsel at News International Limited, which James Murdoch told the Select Committee cleared News International is published in full below:

Re Clive Goodman

We have on your instructions reviewed the emails to which you have provided access from the accounts of:

Andy Coulson
Stuart Kuttner
Ian Edmondson
Clive Goodman
Neil Wallis
Jules Stenson

I can confirm that we did not find anything in those emails which appeared to us to be reasonable evidence that Clive Goodman’s illegal actions were known about and supported by both or either of Andy Coulson, the Editor, and Neil Wallis, the Deputy Editor, and/or that Ian Edmondson, the News Editor, and others were carrying out similar illegal procedures.

Please let me know if we can be of any further assistance.

29 May 2007

Count ’em, it is three sentences long. Not exactly in-depth is it? Guido is increasingly of the view that James Murdoch is, without being too legalistic, totally f****d.




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