Showdown time for Murdochs

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch
London, Jul 19: Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former aide Rebekah Brooks will face British lawmakers today (Jul 19) about the phone-hacking scandal which has engulfed their media empire and rocked police and politicians to the core.

The Murdochs will face the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee to answer questions over their involvement in the scandal.

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son James - who is in charge of the company's European operations - initially declined to appear before the committee but changed their minds after it issued summons for them.

Brooks, former chief executive of News International - News Corp's UK newspaper publishing arm - will appear separately before the committee. On Sunday, she was arrested, interrogated and bailed out in connection with the phone hacking and bribery scandal.

Rupert Murdoch's embattled group has publicly apologised twice during the weekend, promising to make amends in the aftermath of the phone hacking scandal. The company printed apologies in national newspapers on Saturday and Sunday for the wrongdoings and unethical practices adopted by journalists of the now closed News of the World.

The MPs have said they have questions over evidence given by Brooks and Andy Coulson - both ex-News of the World editors - at a hearing in 2003.

Two senior police figures -- Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates -- who quit over the scandal would also face MPs' questions, BBC reported. 

Coulson, who was arrested two weeks ago, resigned as editor of the tabloid due to the phone-hacking allegations, but was later hired by David Cameron as his communications director as leader of the opposition and also later as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, investigations continued into the death of former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare, who had made allegations of phone hacking. Hoare's body was found at his home yesterday. Police say his death is as yet unexplained but not thought to be suspicious.

Hoare was the first to allege that illegal practices were being adopted at the tabloid under the editorship of Andy Coulson.


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