Murdochs to face UK press ethics probe next week
LONDON MEDIA mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son James will appear next week before the British inquiry into press standards set up after the tabloid phone-hacking row, it was announced on Thursday.
The witness list for the Leveson inquiry revealed that James Murdoch is due to attend Tuesday and Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday and possibly on Thursday. Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian owner of The Independent and London’s Evening Standard newspapers, and Aidan Barclay, the owner of The Daily Telegraph broadsheet, will give evidence to the inquiry on Monday.
Rupert Murdoch owned the News of the World tabloid before he shut it down in July following revelations that journalists there had illegally accessed the voicemails of hundreds of public figures and victims of crime. His youngest son James was once considered the heir to the News Corporation media empire, but persistent allegations about what he knew about the hacking has caused him to relinquish all senior roles he had in Britain.
In February, the 39-yearold resigned as executive chairman of News International, the British unit of News Corp. which published the News of the World and still publishes The Times and the bestselling Sun.
And earlier this month he quit as chairman of pay-TV giant BSkyB, which is 39 percent owned by News Corp, although he remains deputy chief operating officer of the US-based company. Both Murdochs appeared before a British parliamentary committee in July to answer questions about phone-hacking, and James Murdoch was recalled in November to explain discrepancies in his testimony.
He denies any knowledge that the practice went beyond a News of the World reporter and a private detective who were jailed in 2007.