British MP Hits Murdoch With "Computer Hacking" Allegations


From News Corp.'s October 21 shareholder meeting:

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WATSON: Mr. Murdoch, good morning again sir. Tom Watson.

MURDOCH: Good morning.

WATSON: Good morning. If I may tell you, it's the deepest of irony that the board are sitting in front of that backdrop. Prince William over there was targeted by the convicted private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. And Kate Middleton was targeted by the convicted private investigator Jonathan Rees on behalf of News International. And as you pointedly said, you are cooperating with the phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. that has got 200 police officers on the case as we speak, but they're also looking at other allegations, that range from conspiring to pervert the course of justice, executives committing perjury, and bribery of public officials, including police officers.

And as you said, the scandal started with the evidence of a single convicted private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, but the police are now investigating at least 3 others, who stand accused of variously impersonating a former prime minister --

NEWS CORP. REPRESENTATIVE: Excuse me, if we could please conclude our remarks.

WATSON: -- targeting the former queen, and illegally --

NEWS CORP. REPRESENTATIVE: If this -- if this is not a matter related to --

WATSON: This is a matter

a matter of corporate governance, if I may say to you sir, I did give Mr. Murdoch two and a half hours to answer my committee, I hope that you --


WATSON: -- and illegally obtaining information from former army intelligence officers, one of them at least did this by hacking computers. You've not told your shareholders that in the U.K., the serious organized crime agency holds the hard drives of a number of these private investigators, and News Corp. is potentially facing a Mulcaire two, as the victims of computer hacking, as the victims of computer hacking begin to take civil litigation cases for illegal invasions of privacy.

You haven't told any of your investors about what is to come, and I have to say Mr. Murdoch, that if I know about this, then with all of the resources you're putting into clearing up the scandal, you must know about this too.

There isn't the corporate governance structures that will prevent these kind of scandals happening again, and I would hope that you could, at least respond to some of the independent investors and reassure your readers and customers in the U.K. and beyond that you're going to put this matter right.

MURDOCH: I think I have assured them and I am going to put these things right. What happened a few years ago was absolutely wrong, and I have said so, and I've said we're all ashamed of it. But, these recent rumors you speak about are all being worked by us with the police. In fact, 90% of what the police knows comes from all the searches of emails and tens of thousands of things which we are supplying them with. [unintelligible] So -- that's the position. We'll put this right.

News Corp.
Rupert Murdoch
NewsCorp News, NewsCorp Watch
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