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New letters bring scandal closer to Rupert Murdoch

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LONDON » The taint of a hacking scandal is creeping closer to media baron Rupert Murdoch.

New documents published by U.K. lawmakers investigating Britain’s phone-hacking scandal apparently contradict claims made by the News Corp. chief’s former right-hand man and cast doubt on his son James Murdoch’s testimony before Parliament.

Among them is a letter claiming that illegal espionage was pervasive at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

Former Murdoch confidante Les Hinton said in 2009 that he’d seen no evidence that phone hacking had spread beyond a single rogue reporter at the tabloid. Yet Hinton is among those copied in on the explosive letter.

Three former lieutenants are also challenging assertions by James Murdoch that he wasn’t told the full facts about the scandal.

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