More bad news for James Murdoch from the UK media inquiry being conducted by Lord Justice Leveson.
The inquiry's counsel, Robert Jay QC, has told London's high court that the Metropolitan Police believe illegal phone hacking at the News of the World continued "at least until 2009".
This was more than a year after James Murdoch was put in charge of the British newspapers, and at least two years after the NoTW's royal editor was jailed for illegal phone hacking. So it is doubly significant.
Mr Jay also told the inquiry it was nonsense for the Murdochs and News to have claimed (as late as 2010) that Goodman was "a lone rogue reporter".
James Murdoch took over from Les Hinton as chairman and CEO of News Corp's European operations in December 2007.
From that point on, he was based at the Wapping offices of News International, in the same building as the News of the World. The buck stopped with him.
Eleven months before he took charge, Goodman and the News of the World's pet private eye, Glenn Mulcaire, had been jailed for illegal phone hacking.
Mulcaire—who was on a £105,000-a-year contract with the paper—had testified in court in January 2007 to hacking the phones of at least five people who would have been of no interest to the NoTW's royal correspondent, including Elle MacPherson and football boss Gordon Taylor.
In March 2007, Goodman made this even more explicit, claiming in a letter to News International's human resources director that "other members of staff were carrying out the same illegal procedures."
The letter, which was copied to the CEO of News International, Les Hinton, also claimed, "This practice [phone hacking] was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor."
As Jay told the inquiry yesterday, it "must have been obvious to News International at all material times" that the lone rogue reporter defence was false.
"Questions might be asked as to how high up in News International the metaphorical buck stops," Jay continued. "There are only two possibilities: either senior management knew what was going on at the time, and therefore at the very least condoned this illegal activity, or they did not, and News International's systems failed to the extent that there was, at the very least, a failure of supervision and oversight. This gives rise to obvious questions about the culture of the organisation, and as to how far this went up. Was there a culture of denial or, even worse, cover-up?"
Just to be clear, if the illegal hacking did continue "at least until 2009", as the police maintain, the inquiry's scathing assessment of News management puts James Murdoch right in the gunsights.