Murdoch expresses regret over hacking – FT.com
James Murdoch has written a lengthy letter to a parliamentary committee expressing deep regret for the phone hacking scandal but reiterating his innocence ahead of a crucial report that could determine whether he stays chairman of BSkyB.
Mr Murdoch’s last-ditch attempt to protect his reputation comes as the culture media and sport select committee prepares to issue a report into phone-hacking following testimony from dozens of witnesses including Mr Murdoch and his father Rupert Murdoch.
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If the report challenges Mr Murdoch’s version of events or criticises his handling of News International, the UK arm of his father’s News Corp media group, the independent directors at Murdoch-controlled BSkyB could feel obliged to ask him to step down.
In his letter, Mr Murdoch accepts responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing at NI earlier and he makes a personal apology to those who have had their privacy invaded.
He also reiterates that he did not mislead parliament and explains his decision to step down as News International chairman last month to focus on pay-TV. News Corp declined to comment.
Mr Murdoch’s olive branch to parliament follows months of intensifying police scrutiny of phone-hacking and corrupt payments to police by NI newspapers.