British lawmakers blast Murdoch for thwarting probe

Rupert Mordoch
London, Jul 20: British lawmakers have blasted media mogul as well as Metropolitan police for attempts to "thwart" the media phone-hacking probe, a day after Murdoch refused to take blame for the crisis.

Hours after Murdoch apologised for the scandal as he was grilled in the House of Commons, a Parliamentary committee rushed to release a report highly critical of both the Police and the media baron.

"There has been catalogue of failures by the Metropolitan police and deliberate attempts by News International to thwart various investigations," Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said in the report.

The pressure on media mogul mounted as the Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt expressed amazement on Murdochs' testimony that they did not know about the extent of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

Hunt made the comments on BBC radio as his boss Prime Minister David Cameron geared up for a Parliamentary showdown over the crisis.

Murdoch and his son James deposed before the media committee of Parliament which is likely to come out with a report on their conduct.

The Home Affairs Committee came out with a report after grilling London's Police chief and his deputy, both of whom have put in their papers amid revelations about Police links to Murdochs empire.

The report strongly criticises senior Police officer Andy Hayman, who led the original enquiry in 2006, censuring that his conduct was "unprofessional and inappropriate".

It also took him to task for taking a job with Murdoch-owned Times newspaper shortly after shedding uniform.

"We deplore that Hayman took a job with News International with in two months of his resignation and two years after he was responsible for an investigation into the company."


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