Murdochs Ordered to Testify or Be in Contempt

Murdochs Ordered to Testify or Be in Contempt

Murdochs Ordered to Testify or Be in Contempt. Rupert Murdoch and his son James will be in “contempt of Parliament” if they ignore a formal summons to give evidence about the phone-hacking scandal to lawmakers on July 19.

Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chairman John Whittingdale said he had asked the serjeant at arms, Jill Pay, to issue both executives with summons to appear. Ignoring the order would lead to them being in contempt of Parliament, he said. “We meet on Tuesday at 2.30,” he told reporters in London today after his committee had met in private. “Either they attend or we report their failure to attend to the House. Then we are in uncharted territory.”

Both Murdochs today wrote to the committee, saying they would be unable to attend the meeting. Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive officer of News International, the publisher of News Corp. (NWSA) newspapers in the U.K., said she would attend. The letters were released by the committee, which on July 12 asked the three executives to testify.

Since the July 4 report that the News of the World tabloid had hacked into the voicemails of a murdered schoolgirl, public and political anger has forced News Corp. to close down the paper. The company’s decision yesterday to drop its bid to gain full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) has done nothing to abate lawmaker fury.

Read more: bloomberg