Leveson Inquiry: Rupert Murdoch and son to appear

Rupert Murdoch
Image caption Former News International CEO Rupert Murdoch also founded the Sun

News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch is to appear before the Leveson Inquiry on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

His son James Murdoch will appear on Tuesday, the inquiry also confirmed.

Rupert Murdoch will be questioned about practices at his British newspapers in the light of the phone-hacking scandal that resulted in the closure of News of the World (NOTW).

James Murdoch resigned as the executive chairman of News International in February.

It will be the first time either of the Murdochs have appeared in front of the Leveson inquiry, which is looking into media standards.

News International has been at the centre of a scandal regarding the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

The Murdochs are likely to be asked whether they were aware of allegations that the practice of illegally intercepting voicemails went beyond News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007.

'Dirty hands'

Last year James Murdoch - who stood down as head of the UK newspaper business that owns the Sun, Times and Sunday Times - told MPs he had no prior knowledge of the scale of wrongdoing on the newspapers he controlled.

But in December, an email from 2008 was released indicating he had been copied into messages referring to the "rife" practice of phone hacking at the News of the World.

Mr Murdoch has said although he was copied into the email, he did not read it fully.

Rupert Murdoch is also expected to face questioning about claims that he and his top executives were too close to British politicians and police officers.

He is likely to be questioned on what steps were taken to ensure that his UK titles were acting within the law and within the code of practice for journalists administered by the Press Complaints Commission.

In common with other witnesses at the inquiry they will also be asked about his thoughts for how the press should be regulated in Britain in the future.

When questioned by MPs about the scandal last July, Rupert Murdoch said that his company had been caught with "dirty hands" and apologised for its actions.

He admitted that appearing in front of the Culture select Committee last summer was the most "humble" day of his life.

Aidan Barclay, chairman of the Telegraph group and Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of Independent Print Limited and Evening Standard Limited are also due to give evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

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