Phone Hacking: Scotland Yard Wants to Question Rupert Murdoch (Report)

12:38 AM PST 06/25/2014 by Georg Szalai
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Rupert Murdoch

Following a guilty verdict against former "News of the World" editor Andy Coulson, "The Guardian" reports that the mogul would be interviewed as a suspect in an investigation into alleged crime at his company's U.K. newspapers.

LONDON – London Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, has told News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch that its detectives want to interview the media mogul as a suspect in an investigation into alleged crime at his company's U.K. newspapers, according to The Guardian.

It reported that London police first contacted Murdoch last year, but agreed to a request from his legal team to wait until the phone hacking trial was finished.

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On Tuesday, the jury in the trial returned first verdicts, including a guilty verdict on one phone hacking conspiracy charge against former News of the World editor and former top lieutenant at News Corp's U.K. newspaper unit Andy Coulson. The jury cleared former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks on all charges.

The Murdoch interview is expected to take place in the near future in Britain and be conducted "under caution," a legal warning given to suspects, The Guardian reported. The paper said son James Murdoch, the former chairman of the Murdoch company's U.K. newspaper arm and now co-COO of 21st Century Fox, may also be questioned.

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The guilty verdict for Coulson, who is also awaiting the jury decision on two bribery charges, and the interview request may threaten News Corp's U.K. arm, News UK, with a possible corporate charge, according to the Guardian report. Such a charge could occur only if the "controlling minds" of the company are found to be guilty of a crime, the paper said.

A News UK representative and Scotland Yard declined to comment.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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