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Man rushes at Rupert Murdoch in hearing
The scandal has prompted the resignation and subsequent arrest of Brooks and the resignation of Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton, sunk the Murdochs' dream of taking full control of lucrative satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting and raised questions about his control of his global media empire.
Brooks testified after the Murdochs, opening her remarks with an apology for phone hacking on her watch.
Rupert Murdoch is eager to stop the crisis from spreading to the United States, where many of his most lucrative assets _ including the Fox TV network, 20th Century Fox film studio, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post _ are based.
“I’ve never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone,” he said.
London’s departing police chief revealed that 10 of the 45 press officers in his department used to work for News International, but he denied there are any improper links between the force and Murdoch’s media empire.
“I understand that there are 10 members of the (Department of Public Affairs) staff who have worked in News International in the past, in some cases journalists, in some cases undertaking work experience with the organization,” Paul Stephenson said.
Stephenson denied wrongdoing, or knowing the News of the World was engaged in phone hacking _ but acknowledged that in retrospect he was embarrassed the force had hired Neil Wallis, a former executive of the paper, as a PR consultant.
After being asked about his relationship with Wallis, who was arrested last week, Stephenson said he had “no reason to connect Wallis with phone hacking” when he was hired for the part-time job in 2009.
He was followed out the door by assistant commissioner John Yates, who gave evidence before the hotly anticipated appearance by the Murdochs. Yates has denied wrongdoing and said that, with the benefit of hindsight, he would have re-opened an inquiry into electronic eavesdropping of voicemail messages.
London’s Metropolitan Police force said Tuesday it had asked a watchdog to investigate its head of public affairs over the scandal _ the fifth senior police official being investigated. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will look at Dick Fedorcio’s role in hiring a former News of the World executive as an adviser to the police.
Members of the public and journalists lined up hours ahead of time in hope of a spot in the small committee room, which holds about 40 people. More will be able to watch in an overspill room, and Britain’s TV news channels are anticipating high ratings for the appearance.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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