Murdoch Testified He Wasn't Aware Of Phone Hacking At His Company

5:49 PM, Jul 19, 2011   |    comments
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London, England -- Media titan Rupert Murdoch denied any knowledge of phone hacking at his newspaper, News of the World, during a nearly five-hour-long hearing with British lawmakers on Tuesday.

Murdoch testified, along with his son James, before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee following two weeks of allegations of phone hacking at his former paper, News of the World.

Rupert Murdoch said, "This is the most humble day of my life."

Britain has been rocked by the scandal, as it has broadened from the newspaper to claims journalist paid police for confidential information.

The hearing erupted into chaos after Murdoch was attacked by a man carrying a pie filled with foam.

Both Murdoch's denied responsibility. Rupert Murdoch claimed that because News of the World was less than one percent of his company, he wasn't aware of the hacking's.

Asked by a lawmaker if he accepted responsibility, Rupert Murdoch said, "No." He went on to say, "I think that frankly I'm the best person to clear this up."

Rupert Murdoch was asked by the committee about claims journalists at the now defunct paper hacked into victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

He had seen "no evidence" of this and did not believe it happened.

Rupert Murdoch read a statement at the conclusion of the hearing that read:

"James and I would like to say how sorry we are for what has happened -- especially with regard to listening to the voice mail of victims of crime."

He said that in his 57 years at the head of his company, "at no time do I remember being as sickened as when I heard what the Dowler family had to endure -- nor do I recall being as angry as when I was told that the News of the World could have compounded their distress."

Dowler was a missing girl whose phone was allegedly hacked by News of the World reporters and later found dead. It was later revealed News of the World journalists had deleted messages on her phone to make room for new messages, giving her family false hope she was still alive and checking her voicemail.

The former editor of News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, also testified at the hearing.

Brooks told lawmakers at the hearing that News of the World acted "quickly and decisively" to investigate reports of phone hacking's.

She said she knew reporters at the paper used private detectives and thought every major newspaper in Britain did as well. She also said she never paid a policeman or approved payments to police.

Brooks resigned July 15.

The scandal has reached the highest levels of power in Britain, as Prime Minister David Cameron returned home early from a trip to Africa to deal with the crisis.

Cameron has faced criticism over his decision to hire Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor, who later resigned and was arrested due to the hacking's.

Coulson and Brooks are both out on bail.

Cameron said,"The police have serious questions to answer about potential corruption and a failed investigation. Politicians have been too close to media owners," Cameron said at a news conference in Nigeria, part of a two-day Africa trip.

"These are big problems, but we are a big country and we are going to sort them out. We're going to get to the bottom of them through a judicial inquiry and we're going to make sure they cannot happen again."

CNN

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