Rupert Murdoch’s Son Seeks Leniency from House of Commons Committee in Phone Hacking Scandal

Posted March 15th, 2012 at 3:35 am (UTC-5)
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James Murdoch is appealing for leniency from a British parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking at News Corps' defunct News of the World tabloid.

On Wednesday, Murdoch submitted a seven page letter to the committee, offering an apology and shifting blame to his senior staffers, whom he claims hid the scandal from him. The heir to Rupert Murdoch's global media empire wrote in his letter, “I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing.”

James Murdoch's leadership role at BSkyB, a News Corp pay TV group, may hinge on the committee's final report, which Reuters says might be available next month.

His letter to the parliamentary committee comes a day after British police re-arrested former aide and editor for Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, as part of an investigation into phone-hacking by the press.

Brooks and her husband Charlie, a close friend of Prime Minster David Cameron, were arrested at their home Tuesday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Police say four other people were arrested on similar charges.

All six were released on bail and ordered to appear in court next month.

Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid at the center of the scandal last year after allegations staff and editors there got information by hacking into mobile phones and email accounts. He also owns British newspapers The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times.

The victims of the phone hacking range from celebrities to politicians and crime victims.

The 43-year-old Brooks resigned as chief executive of the newspaper in July, shortly before her first arrest connected to different allegations in the case.

About 40 people have been arrested as a result of probes into the illegal news gathering and bribery scandal.

Rupert Murdoch's media empire has agreed to pay large payouts to 37 phone hacking victims, including British actor Jude Law, football player Ashley Cole and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.