The British police are investigation one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper subsidiaries over allegation of wiretapping of public figures. The Guardian has reported that Murdoch’s company paid $1.6 million to settle court cases involving hacking into cellphones.
Mr. Murdoch insists that no such payments were made to cover up criminal activities, stating “if that had happened, I would know about it.”
The Guardian says that the targets included a prominent lawmaker for the Liberal Democrats.”
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24 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch’s Company Accused of Wiretapping Public Figures”
The October Surprise that I’d like to see would go even further… beyond Ailes and the Murdochs.
The best October Surprise we could have would be for the Murdochs and Ailes to be perp walked into the Federal Courthouse wearing jewelry by Smith & Wesson
Wouldn’t that be lovely. Just the kind of October Surprise to which I was alluding yesterday.
I want to know what Roger Ailes knew and when he knew it. The best October Surprise we could have would be for the Murdochs and Ailes to be perp walked into the Federal Courthouse wearing jewelry by Smith & Wesson.
British Panel Finds Murdoch Unfit to Lead Media Empire
By ALAN COWELL and JOHN F. BURNS
Published: May 1, 2012
LONDON — In a damning report after months of investigation into the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers here, a British parliamentary panel concluded on Tuesday that Mr. Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run a huge international company.
The startling conclusion about the world’s most influential media tycoons went much further in criticizing Mr. Murdoch personally than had been expected from Parliament’s select committee on culture, media and sport, which has been conducting the latest of two inquiries into the hacking scandal since last July.
Britain’s Press Association news agency quoted the committee as saying Mr. Murdoch exhibited “willful blindness” toward wrongdoing at his organization and said News Corporation, his New York-based global conglomerate, had made “huge failings of corporate governance.” The consequences of the panel’s findings were not immediately clear.
Throughout the hacking scandal, which has burrowed ever deeper into Britain’s public life, the instinct at the company had been to “cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing and discipline the perpetrators,” the committee found.
The report also accused three former senior executives of News International — Les Hinton, Colin Myler, and Tom Crone — of misleading the parliamentary committee during their testimony.
News International had long maintained that hacking had been the work of what was termed a single “rogue reporter.”
But, last year, the scandal exploded after disclosures that, as long ago as 2002, the mobile phone of an abducted and subsequently murdered teenager, Milly Dowler, had been hacked after she disappeared but before her body was found.
The report on Tuesday came less than a week after both Rupert Murdoch, 81, and his son James Murdoch, 39, testified before a separate judicial inquiry into the affair. Both insisted, as they have done throughout the scandal, that they had no direct initial knowledge of the extent of the hacking.
Rupert Murdoch accused top managers of The News of the World Sunday tabloid of staging a cover-up of the practice.
His son said last week that, when he took over News International in late 2007 — months after a News of the World reporter and a private investigator were jailed for hacking into the voice mail of members of the royal family — he believed that the affair had been settled.
But that version has been challenged by a former editor of The News of the World, Colin Myler, and the newspaper’s former legal manger, Tom Crone — the executives accused by Rupert Murdoch of a cover-up. Both men have testified that they told James Murdoch in June 2008 of the extent of the hacking, but Mr. Murdoch has said he did not learn of the extent of the practice until last year.In a measure of the damage to his interests since the scandal broke, Rupert Murdoch closed the 168-year-old News of the World and the family withdrew a bid to assume full control of Britain’s biggest satellite broadcaster, BSkyB.
But the ramifications have spread much further.
British police have started three separate investigations into phone hacking, e-mail hacking and bribery of police officers. More than 40 people have been arrested and questioned — though not charged — including senior editors and executives at News International. They include Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, and Andy Coulson, a former editor who left the company to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s media adviser — a job he has now quit.
The chairman of the parliamentary committee, John Whittingdale, said on Tuesday that the panel had been careful not to publicize conclusions that might prejudice criminal proceedings against any of those involved.
The scandal also has threatened Jeremy Hunt, Mr. Cameron’s culture minister, who was in charge of overseeing the $12 billion BSkyB bid. As culture minister, Mr. Hunt had the power to waive regulatory scrutiny that could have doomed the takeover.
Mr. Hunt’s aide, Adam Smith, resigned last week after e-mails presented at the separate judicial inquiry depicted a cozy relationship between the minister’s office and the Murdoch family. The Labour opposition has called for Mr. Hunt’s resignation, accusing him of protecting the prime minister’s own ties to the Murdoch empire.
A turbulent parliamentary session on Monday — just days before a series of bellwether mayoral and other elections — became one of the most acrimonious of Mr. Cameron’s two years in power as he faced repeated opposition demands for an independent assessor to review whether Mr. Hunt had infringed ministerial codes by approving his aide’s ties to the lobbyist or in failing to curb them.
At the parliamntary committee, some of the criticism centered on the behavior of a former head of News International, Les Hinton, a longtime associate of Rupert Murdoch who oversaw the British newspaper subsidiary when voice mail hacking was rife, British media reports said.
Mr. Hinton became the publisher of The Wall Street Journal in 2007, but he resigned from News Corporation last July as the hacking scandal deepened. He had worked closely with Rupert Murdoch for more than 50 years.
Mr. Hinton has appeared several times before the parliamentary committee both during its current investigation and in an earlier and less pugnacious inquiry.
Last November, he told the panel that, in earlier testimony, “some of the answers you were given were not accurate — whether calling them ‘untruthful’ is the appropriate word, I don’t know.”
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