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Rupert Murdoch's cover-up claims 'shameful'

By James Cusick and Martin Hickman

Rupert Murdoch woke up in his London apartment yesterday morning to find “20 or so paparazzi” waiting for him. A different kind of harassment awaited him at the Leveson Inquiry.

On day two of his appearance at the inquiry he admitted he'd “panicked” when he closed the News Of The World last year — but said he was glad he had.

Rupert Murdoch yesterday claimed that phone hacking within the NoTW was covered up by a “clever lawyer” and “one or two very strong characters”.

The global head of News Corp claimed he had been “shielded and misinformed” about the extent of criminal wrong-doing within the Sunday tabloid. The alleged cover-up prevented reports of hacking reaching News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, and his son, James, executive chairman.

Last night, NI's former legal manager, Tom Crone, claiming that Mr Murdoch’s evidence “can only refer to me”, branded Mr Murdoch's assertion of a cover-up “a shameful lie”.

Mr Murdoch also directly criticised the appointment of Colin Myler as editor of the NoTW.

Mr Crone said: “It is perhaps no coincidence that the two people he [Mr Murdoch] has identified in relation to his cover-up allegations are the same people who pointed out that his son's evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee last year was inaccurate.”

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