Rupert Murdoch and Son Tesitify to Members of British Parliment on Hacking Scandal


Caryn Freeman 12:21PM EST

Rupert Murdoch and son James Murdoch are being questioned by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. The committee's questions focused on payments made to victims of hacking, legal fees paid by News Corp. to culpable parties in the hacking scandal and whose decision it was to close New of the World, a paper with a one-hundred-thirty-six year publishing history in the UK. Both Murdoch’s  were vague when explaining what either of them knew of  hacking at the paper and who in management may have signed off on these practices.
Murdoch claimed that it was only eight days ago that he heard of the pandemic corruption at News of the World. When questioned  specifically on conversations that may have taken place as early as January of this year in relation to hacking Murdoch Sr. said he didn’t remember exact dates.
The committee asked Murdoch  if he was ultimately responsible for what took place at News of the World as CEO of News Corp. “No,” Murdoch Sr. answered.
"Who is responsible?" “People that I trusted. I worked with them for 25 years I trusted them with my life,” he replied.
The decision to shut down News of the World came from the Board of Directors, Rupert Murdoch himself and Rebecca Brooks. According to News International lawyers  if the case were litigated it would be lost and the financial cost including legal expenses and compensation would be too great to keep the paper open.
“The closing of 160 year old paper is a grave thing. But it was a paper and a title that had violated the public trust. It was really the right choice for the paper to cease publication. It is a very regrettable situation,” James Murdoch told the committee.
Therese Coffey pressed the Murdoch’s on how payments were made to those who actually executed the hacking. “How is it possible to make payments to people who don’t invoice you or who are not employees of News Corp?” Murdoch Sr. explained that, “each newspaper has a managing editor, they manage the budgets and the Board has no authority to make payments.”
Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp. has the difficult task of protecting News Corp. stock. News Corp. stock has sufferd two day losses since the scandal broke.