Rupert Murdoch 'not fit to run' International Company
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London, 1 May 2012. Last updated at 11:15 GMT
MP's who investigated phone hacking at the News of the
World have issued a damning report which concludes that Rupert Murdoch
is not a fit person to run a major international company.
Members of the Commons Culture and Media committee also
accuse three former News International executives of misleading them.
Journalists accessed the private voice mail of celebrities, politicians
and crime victims to get stories.
Speaking at a news conference, a Labour member of the
Committee, Tom Watson said that in the views of the majority of
committee members, Rupert Murdoch is not fit to run an international
company like Bskyb.The culture committee questioned journalists and bosses at the
now-closed News of the World, as well as police and lawyers for hacking
Its report concluded that Mr Murdoch exhibited "wilful blindness" to what was going on in News Corporation.
But the committee was split six to four with Tory members refusing to endorse the report and branding it "partisan".
Conservative Louise Mensch called it "a real great shame"
that the report's credibility had potentially been "damaged" as a
result, with the report carried by Labour and Lib Dem members backing
News Corp said in a statement it was "carefully reviewing"
the report and would "respond shortly", adding: "The company fully
acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News of the World and apologises
to everyone whose privacy was invaded."
The committee itself does not have the power to impose
sanctions, but it raised the possibility of a vote in the House of
Commons about whether witnesses had been in contempt of Parliament - and
if so, whether those witnesses should be forced to apologise in
The committee of MPs began its inquiry in July 2011 in the wake of
fresh revelations about the extent of hacking at the tabloid newspaper,
with reported victims including the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and
the families of victims of the 7/7 London bombings.
It heard evidence from Mr Murdoch and his son James, and has
now concluded that the notion that a hands-on proprietor like Rupert
Murdoch had "no inkling" that wrongdoing was widespread at the News of
the World was "simply not credible".
It noted that the newspaper mogul had "excellent powers of
recall and grasp of detail when it suited him", and added: "On the basis
of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that, if at
all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully
informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful
blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications."
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