James Murdoch, the son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, testified on Tuesday in a London courtroom, during an ethics inquiry, that he was assured on several occasions about the ethics and journalism practices at the News of the World.
Murdoch maintains that he hadn't any idea that phone hacking was still rampant at the newspaper because he was assured by Daniel Cook, human resources director at News International, the unit of Murdoch's News Corp. that runs newspapers in Britain, that such actions were confined to the past. He said his subordinates kept him ill-informed about the extent of those practices and that, had he known, he would have told the executives to cut out the cancer.
The scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch's troubled newspaper empire exploded last summer when it was revealed that the now-defunct News of the World illegally hacked the voicemail of kidnapped teenager Milly Dowler. The 13-year-old was later found dead.
The paper's actions interfered with police investigations into her disappearance, according to the Guardian. Dowler disappeared on her way home on March 21, 2002.
Scotland Yard's probe into the phone hacking reportedly found evidence that the Dowlers were targeted in a collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who was jailed for phone hacking on behalf of the News of the World.
British police have said the paper hacked the voicemails of hundreds of people. Victims included celebrities, politicians and the families of fallen soldiers.
In February, singer Charlotte Church testified that she was pursued by Rupert Murdoch's journalists when she was a teenager. The 26-year-old Welsh singer has said 33 articles that appeared in News of the World resulted from journalists illegally hacking into her family's voice mails. She has since received a £600,000 ($951,000) settlement.
James Murdoch took over at the helm of News International in 2007. The hacking revelations forced Rupert Murdoch to close the 168-year-old News of the World last July. There have also been multiple police inquiries and scores of lawsuits.
The hacking scandal also triggered the ethics hearing, chaired by Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is looking to get a clear picture of the practices at the paper.
Murdoch also said he didn't decide what was published by News of the World or the Sun.
I wasn't in the business of deciding what to put into the newspaper, he said.
Watch the live stream of James Murdoch's inquiry below: