Rupert Murdoch under oath

 
Rupert Murdoch Rupert Murdoch appears at the Leveson Inquiry the day after his son James

The interrogation of Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry, for more than a day, is a historic event.

Never has the 81-year-old, still regarded as among the most powerful media moguls in the world, been questioned so extensively, in public and under oath.

If yesterday's session with his son, James Murdoch, is anything to go by, there will be at least three broad areas of examination.

He'll be asked about his long and deep relationship with politicians - and whether he sought and bought commercial advantage by offering the support of his newspapers, especially the Sun, to the Tories and to Labour.

What he ends up saying will be awaited with some trepidation by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Second, it would be odd if he was not asked whether he feels personally responsible for creating a culture at his British newspapers, especially the News of the World and the Sun, at which malpractices were allegedly rife.

His relationship with the former News Corporation executive in charge of the newspapers in many of the latter years, Les Hinton, is bound to be put under the spotlight.

Finally - and to repeat the big question put to his son, James Murdoch - because details of phone hacking and alleged bribing by his British journalists at News International didn't emerge until years after this had happened, was there a giant cover-up or a catastrophic governance failure at his organisation?

James Murdoch, when asked by Robert Jay QC for the inquiry, said there was neither cover-up or governance failure. But it was not very clear what the third explanation might be.

 
Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 37.

    Robert,

    With all respect. We should wait and count our chickens when they are hatched. They have now been hatched and we have heard from the horse's mouth nothing but total integrity. No surprise, it was exactly the same in his previous testimony.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 36.

    Retired now but used to have discussions with friends at work trying to explain that headlines such as The Times or Sun or Daily Mail says this or that was not the word of God but six or seven unelected people sat round a table.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 35.

    I think that Mr Murdoch despises all politicians and, regardless of what you think of him, I think he correct in his assumptions...if indeed this is his position.
    He knows that they are spineless nonentities who will do or say anything to stay, or gain, power.
    He also knows that they fear him.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 34.

    Why even bother? He's just going to sit there an lie. Everyone knows it. Nothing will be done about it. Questioning him and James just seems like pointless process as its evident that the inquiry is pretty toothless against them and they aren't going to confess their sins.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 33.

    Les Hinton, there's a name I haven't heard in a while. In 2011, Hinton resigned as publisher of Wall Street Journal. He ran News Inter. from 97 - 05. He - like others - claimed ignorance re hacking. October, 2011, Hinton was named in scandal surrounding resignation of Dow Jones Executive, Andrew Langhoff also CEO of The Wall Street Journal Europe. My gosh how deep/wide tentacles on this beast!

 

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