News Corp.'s James Murdoch Reiterates 'Deep Regret' over Phone-Hacking Scandal
In an apology letter to the U.K. parliament, the son of Rupert Murdoch maintains that he has not misled parliament, but admits he could have mounted a more thorough probe.
LONDON – A James Murdoch-penned letter expressing “deep regret” over the phone-hacking scandal engulfing News Corp.’s newspaper publishing division News International has been made public by Parliament.
The seven-page letter written to MPs sitting on the culture, media and sport select committee on Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation headed stationary maintains James Murdoch has not misled parliament over the affair.
“It has been suggested that my decision to resign my role at News International reflected past knowledge of voicemail interception or other alleged criminal wrongdoing at News International,” Murdoch writes, signing the letter as News Corporation deputy chief operating officer, chairman and CEO, International.
“This is untrue. I take my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier. However, I have not misled Parliament.”
Murdoch said he stepped down as News International executive chairman to concentrate on his other duties which take in his role with News Corporation's international pay TV business.
He goes on to reiterate that he “did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing.”
But he also admits in the letter he could have made more enquiries and mounted a thorough investigation into allegations that phone-hacking was widespread at News International.
The letter was published by the committee on Wednesday, just weeks before it is due to report the findings into its long-running inquiry into the phone-hacking saga.
The latest missive is the second time Murdoch has written to the committee this year to protest his innocence.
The letter reiterates his long-held position that he did not mislead parliament by telling MPs he did not know that phone hacking was widespread at the News of the World when he agreed to the £725,000 ($1.1 million) payout to Gordon Taylor, the chief of the Professional Footballers Association.
That payment has been seen by many as one of the leading examples of how widespread the practice of phone-hacking was at News International.