Highlights of Murdochs' questioning by British MPs

19th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch faced questioning Tuesday from British lawmakers over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Here are some of the highlights of the session in front of parliament's Culture, Media and Sport committee.

- "I just want to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life." Rupert Murdoch's opening remarks.

- "No": Rupert Murdoch's remark when asked by Labour lawmaker Jim Sheridan if he accepted that "ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?"

When asked whom he blamed, Murdoch said: "The people that I trusted to run it (his media empire) and then maybe the people they trusted."

- "We felt ashamed at what happened. We had broken our trust with our readers." Rupert Murdoch explains why the News of the World tabloid was shut down after 168 years.

- "We have seen no evidence of that at all and as far as we know the FBI haven't either," Murdoch said when asked about allegations the paper hacked 9/11 victims.

- "I would like to say just how sorry I am and how sorry we are, to particularly the victims of illegal voicemail interceptions, and to their families." James Murdoch's opening statement.

- "The News of the World is less than one percent of our company. I employ 53,000 people around the world who are proud and great and ethical and distinguished people, professionals in their work. I'm spread watching and appointing people whom I trust to run those divisions." Rupert Murdoch on his empire.

- Opposition Labour party lawmaker Tom Watson asked Rupert Murdoch when he became aware that criminality was "endemic" at the News of the World.

"Endemic is a very hard, a very wide ranging word," Murdoch replied. "I also have to be very careful not to prejudice the course of justice that is taking place now."

- "I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case only two weeks ago." Rupert Murdoch on allegations that the News of the World hacked into a murdered teenager's phone.

- Rupert Murdoch revealed he had been invited to have a cup of tea with Prime Minister David Cameron within days of the general election in May last year, which brought Cameron to power at the head of a coalition government.

"I was invited within days (of the election) to have a cup of tea to be thanked for the support by Mr Cameron," he said.

"No other conversation took place."

- James Murdoch said no plans were afoot for News International, the British newspaper wing of News Corp., to launch a new Sunday tabloid to replace News of the World: "There are no immediate plans for that."

- Asked why he did not accept former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks' original offer to resign before she finally quit last Friday, Rupert Murdoch replied: "Because I believed her and I trusted her and I do trust her.

"In the event she just insisted. She was at a point of extreme anguish."

© 2011 AFP

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