In the parliamentary hearings over the News Of The World phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch denied that he is responsible for the breaches within his company, and instead blamed “the people I trusted to run it and the people they trusted.”
The Murdochs began by apologizing profusely for the scandal, with Rupert Murdoch calling Tuesday “the most humble day of my life.” But he also denied knowledge of most of the allegations related to the phone hacking within News International, the British newspaper subsidiary of his News Corporation empire.
James Murdoch said that they did not consider that the hacking scandal stretched beyond then royal editor Clive Goodman after he was convicted in 2007, because after the police investigation “it was not clear that there was a reason to believe that those matters were anything other than settled matters.”
He also said there is “no evidence that there was impropriety” by former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and former Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton.
Rupert Murdoch at one point interjected in the questioning to point out that “News Of The World is less than 1% of our company. I employ more than 53,000 people around the world,” and therefore he cannot necessarily know everything that is going on.
About the allegations related to phone hackings of 9/11 victims, Rupert Murduch said: “We have seen no evidence of that at all and as far as we know the FBI haven’t either. If they do we will treat it exactly the same way as we do here.” He added that he would “absolutely” commission an investigation if the allegations turn out to be true.
When Labour MP Tom Watson asked Rupert Murdoch when he became aware that corruption in his company was endemic, Murdoch replied that “endemic is a very wide-ranging word,” but said he was not really fully aware of the extent of the problem until two weeks ago, with the revelations that NOTW hacked into 13-year old murder victim Milly Dowler’s phone.
Watson also asked if Murdoch was responsible for the hacking, to which he replied: “No.”