Murdoch’s man in new hacking row
om Mockridge, the former Australian executive tapped to replace Rebekah Brooks as head of News International, the British of arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, is himself at risk of being caught up in a hacking scandal that unfolded on his watch at Sky Italia.
Italian prosecutors have told a criminal trial in Sicily that a computer hacker recruited by a former Scotland Yard officer working for News Corporation and paid through News International caused millions of dollars of damage to a rival company that provided services to Italian pay television broadcaster Sky Italia.
On July 14, the day before Mockridge’s appointment, the News Corp arm at the centre of the Italian scandal, NDS Limited, brought forward plans to float, a move that will distance News from the trial in Sicily.
The claim involves corporate espionage rather than invasions of privacy and comes as Rupert Murdoch hinted he would not be succeeded by his son James, News International chairman, under whose watch the phone hacking occurred.
Mockridge reports to James Murdoch.