back to article Murdochs won't talk to MPs over phone-hacking scandal

News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has refused to appear before a committee of MPs who want to probe the media tycoon over phone-hacking allegations made against his sister company News International. But the under-fire chief said he was "fully prepared to give evidence to the forthcoming judge-led inquiry". Murdoch's son …


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  1. Gulfie

    We shouldn't be surprised here

    After all, neither Murdoch is a UK citizen. Brooks can't avoid the summons, but they can.

    Of course the offer to 'come back later' seems generous until you realise that they'll have had plenty of legal advice and know what is in the public domain - they'll be better prepared. But still untouchable from a legal standpoint, I imagine

    More's the pity.

    Question: Is NI a fit and proper organisation to be allowed to start a new newspaper?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Is NI....

      A fit and proper organisation to run Sky? It looks like they're not suitable to run BSkyB so why not decide that NI can't run Sky and threaten to remove its broadcast licence unless both the Murdochs appear and at time that suits the board of MPs and not the Murdochs

      1. Anonymous Coward

        News International don't run Sky

        They're just a 39% shareholder and you can't remove the broadcast licence from 39% of the owners of Sky, the licence applies to the company itself.

        However, there might be a case for a change of Chairman of the Board - eh, James?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Echos of the Now Show :)

      I aggree, is NI a fit and proper organisation to be allowed to start a new newspaper?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      James Murdoch

      Born in Wimbledon. He at least was once a British citizen. Anyone know if he ever got round to renouncing it?

  2. davcefai

    Why Not?

    "It remains unclear if the News Corp boss can be forced to testify at the inquiry as he is a US citizen."

    Why not? He's doing business in the UK. Of course he could elect never to enter Britain again.

    1. David West

      Exactley what I was thinking...

      If he won't go, then he should be banned from doing business here, anyone willing to own a business in the UK should abide by the same laws UK citizens have too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Feel his collar next time he arrives

      I'm sure an imaginative judge could say the Murdochs are persons of interest to a police investigation and put a warrant out for their arrest next time they feel obliged to grace us with their presence.

      Alternatively, whilst he's here, Rupert could go down to a police station of his own accord and help the rozzers with their enquiries into just when he found out about the phone hacking allegations and that his son had been paying hush money to victims in contravention of British and American law.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      sauce for the goose

      "It remains unclear if the News Corp boss can be forced to testify at the inquiry as he is a US citizen."

      Wouldn't stop the Americans doing it to a UK citizen. Haul him into Parliament, in chains* if necesssary

      * well, handcuffs at least

    4. Richard Taylor 2


      UK citizens can (don't laugh) refuse to appear before a senate committee (as close a comparison as one can get), and in fact the senate were somewhat pissed off when UK parliamentarians put two fingers up at them.

      1. smudge

        Not... pissed off as they were when George Galloway DID appear at one of their hearings!

    5. Random Handle

      #Why Not

      Its not unclear at all, parliament can issue a warrant and have the Police drag pretty much anyone currently in the UK before the committee regardless of nationality.

      The Maxwells were thus threatened - pointless exercise though since there's no requirement to answer any questions, just turn up and say 'no comment'.

    6. Daniel 4

      It's the price of doing business

      Do business in a country, subject yourself to their rules. This includes exposing yourself to summons in front of the ruling body when your company becomes an entity of note in a "good of society" inquiry. This is one place where I support U.S. House and Senate subpoenas, and yes, of course, I support the U.K. being able to issue a summons as well. Ignore them at your peril - if you aren't a citizen, I see no reason why you shouldn't have your assets confiscated, a lifetime ban against doing business in the country, along with a lifetime ban against entry.

      You are, of course, always welcome to decide (as a foreign entity) that this is worth it (as some are doing with China right now), but you really should just be abandoning everything you own in the hosting nation at that point. If the Murdochs are so inclined, I have no issue with them losing their U.K. media holdings.


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unnamed man

    Funny that. They'd name him if had been accused of rape, with or without evidence.

    Innocent until victimized.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yeah, lucky us


    inquiry as he is a US citizen.


  5. M H

    well, if they don't go before the MPs for a grilling...

    ...then immigration officers should be given an extra large supply of rubber gloves to use for when the gruesome twosome try to exit the country.

  6. John G Imrie

    Mr Murdoch Snr.

    It remains unclear if the News Corp boss can be forced to testify at the inquiry as he is a US citizen.

    This might be fun. Failing to turn up for a summons leads to a vote in the House on placing the absconder in Contempt of Parliament.

    I would suggest that anyone found in Contempt of Parliament is not a 'Fit and Proper' person to run any media organization in the UK.

    1. Chad H.


      Given that Rupes is going to need the government back on side when he rebids for BSkyB in 6-12 months, I would have thought that annoying parliament would have been something he would have chosen to avoid.

      Time to tighten up the ol' contempt of parliament laws perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        > Given that Rupes is going to need the government back on side when he rebids for BSkyB in 6-12 months

        6-12 months? Doubt that. I'll wager he waits till around the next election when MPs from all sides will be clamoring for a bit of Murdoch love.

        1. Jim Morrow
          Paris Hilton

          a bit of murdoch love

          > I'll wager he waits till around the next election when MPs from all sides will be clamoring for a bit of Murdoch love.

          i'll take that bet. by the time of the next election, murdoch love will be considerably less desirable than the love of an 80 year old clap-ridden crack whore with herpes.

          and anyway, the murdoch empire will still be in deep, deep shit (if it's still around) by the time of the next election. it's going to take at least a year for the public inquiry to be completed. whatever measures pop out of that to improve probity, standards, ownership rules and so on should be falling into place when the next election is due. i very much doubt the leveson inquiry is going to decide it can be business as usual for murdoch ever again. any bid from murdoch will have to wait for a year or two at least after the inquiry's recommendations have been implemented.

          once the leveson inquiry is done, expect the trials for hacking, blagging and police corruption. then, there may well be a perjury trial for coulson and the management of the news of the screws in scotland. which could be coming to an end when the next general election is due. if commie sheridan's conviction gets overturned, he'll sue the arse off murdoch.

          it's likely to be 2013 before operation weeting identifies all the victims of phone hacking. and who knows what other filth that investigation has still to uncover. so there will then be a long procession of civil cases for damages which could take well beyond the next election to complete. i wonder how many advertisers will be happy to be associated with murdoch publications while this endless parade of sleaze gets aired in public over and over and over again.

          it's likely senior management at news international will fail ofcom's "fit and proper" test for a broadcasting licence. they appear to have misled parliament, authorised dodgy payments to crooks and cops, approved confidentiality agreements and pay-offs to max clifford and gordon taylor to keep a lid on the hacking scandal, etc, etc. if these allegations are true those managers and shareholders would need to go (or be in prison) before news international could expect to be allowed to hold any stake in bskyb.

          congressional hearings and court cases in the usa seem likely too. these may have to wait until the prosecutions and inquiries here are settled. though it's just been announced the fbi is now investigating if the news of the screws tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

          murdoch's master company is american. there are very serious penalties for a us company that is ultimately responsible for employing people who bribe foreign officials. for instance by making illegal payments to the metropolitan police to pick an example at random.

          paris icon because it won't be long before everyone's going to need reminders about where to find the bum and tit that used to be in the sun every day.

    2. Sam Liddicott


      certainly the MP's will take it as an insult to their position and authority.

      The only way Murdoch will get his hands on BSkyB now will be if he manages to do so without the need for review or permission from government.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Contempt of parliament

      Unfortunately, I suggest that right-minded citizens already have a healthy contempt of parliament, so unless we all want to be locked up I prefer we just leave things as they are, legally speaking

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't they summon him?

    Using a chalk pentagram at midnight.

    1. Richard Taylor 2

      I think

      the blood of two small mice might also be involved somewhere

      1. DF118

        Small mouse, as opposed to...

        ...the lesser known enormouse?

      2. Richard Gray 1

        but can't you..

        Substitute an egg for the mouse blood?

        Must be a fresh egg though...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Rebekah Brooks

    Is coming in very handy as a human shield for the Murdochs.

    Hiding behind a woman’s skirts might be expedient but that doesn't mean it isn't extremely cowardly and humiliating.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear ....

    This just gets better. Now, the whole world will get the impression that if you want your UK-based company to avoid being dragged before PARLIAMENT (not some parish committee) then all you have to do is put a non UK (EU ?) citizen in the big chair.

    Hopefully, this episode will make our lawgivers think, and make changes to the UK corporate governance laws to require that any company that wants to do (sizeable !) business in the UK needs to make their CEO available to *all* bodies that have an interest.

    This might make for interesting takeovers in future. Does anyone recall the impression of contempt for the UK, that Kraft showed ?

    I am actually quite hopeful this could happen, because the current situation makes MPs look completely idiotic and powerless.

  10. louis walsh's toilet

    the scariest thing...

    is james murdoch's accent - have you heard that fucker talk?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Talk Is that what you call it?

      Yes I did hear him talk on a recording. It might have been a poor recording but I thought it was a five year old girl until I turned and saw his lips moving on the TV broadcast. Not only is it a case of is he fit to run a welk stall, is he old enough to be out without Mummy?

  11. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Can't follow this...

    Has he got diplomatic immunity? No? Then summon him before the House.

    I assume that it's a crime to disobey the summons - it is for a minor court. If it isn't, then it will take an hour or two to vote in a new bit of legislation and make it so. I imagine that the Queen would be only too willing to sign that Bill in double-quick time....

    Do people think he's some kind of god...?

  12. chris swain

    Don't we have an agreement with our BFFs over the pond?

    One designed to get criminals over here to face charges? You know, that special one they use for the likes Mc Kinnon?

    Oh, yeah, just remembered, we signed up to it but they didn't.

    1. Oninoshiko

      This lie again?

      Guess you missed the memo, the US senate ratified the treaty half a decade ago, in 2006.

      It may be non-reciprocal, but it was signed.

  13. IDoNotThinkSo
    Paris Hilton

    Wait for the enquiry

    The Parliamentary Committee is a bit of a waste of time. Especially since it will be Keith Vaz in the chair.

    The important thing is that he appears before the public enquiry, which I believe he has agreed to. That will be under oath, so its a bit more serious.

    Get the popcorn in for Tuesday when Rebekakakaka is up though.

    Paris, because she doesn't run from the cameras.

  14. kain preacher

    Stop it now

    Stop repeating the lie that the Americans have not signed the treaty , we have . Contempt of court is misdemeanor here . Not some thing you can be extradited for . Find another reason to hate us for.

    Oh by the way , in America a foreign company or person can not own a media company . You might want to give that a try in the UK.

    1. breakfast

      Good point

      That has done a great job of preventing Murdoch from undermining your media, hasn't it?

      1. kain preacher


        But he can't ignore congress when they tell him to show up.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      foreign company or person can not own a media company

      I don't recall anyone in Japan getting uppity about the American Sony Corp. having nicked their name.

    3. Velv

      Foreign ownership?

      You yanks crack me up.

      Rupert Murduch only became a naturalised citizen of the US to get around the laws on Television ownership. A perfect example of the US selling citizenship to the highest bidder

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No one said you hadn't signed the treaty ...

      (well I didn't).

      But your constitution covers *all* treaties your govenment signs. Which means someone the UK requests for extradition will be protected by your courts - who will demand to see the evidence, and reject the request if it doesn't pass muster.

      However, any Brits who feel aggrieved by this, should recall the treaty was drafted by *both* sides, and any pre-university law student should have been able to warn the UK side that no matter what the treaty says, it would be bound by the US constitution. Which has an irritating "due process" clause. Trying to extradite a citizen without proper evidence is not due process.

      1. chris swain

        Our government don't waste time reading things before they sign them

        They signed up to the harmonisation of motorcycle rider tests with the rest of Europe without realising that it involved an emergency stop procedure that had to be caried out at 40kmh, thus meaning that it would need to be performed on roads with a 40mph limit over here. That's not safe so now you have to travel to a specialised test centre ( of which there are precious few) to take your test rather than take it at the local DVLA centre like you used to be able to. Some people are faced with round trips of hundreds of miles.

        They're morons.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge


          My maths is pretty shabby at the best of times but isnt 40kmh < 30mph?

          Why would it require a 40 limit road?

    5. chris swain

      Not hatin' on you guys, just our weak-ass, lickspittle overlords in the UK

      Anyhoo, I gather that the US could prosecute him under their own laws. If you think for one minute that his ' journalists' haven't been using similar techniques on US citizens then more fool you. Fox News could do with taking a beating...

  15. breakfast

    Send in the Serjeant at Arms

    So apparently they sent the deputy Serjeant at Arms to ask for their presence.

    I have high hopes that after his request was rejected they will next send in the actual Serjeant at Arms who will proceed to totally flip out with his halberd.

    I'm not an expert on constitutional affairs, but I assume this is the kind of thing that usually happens in this kind of situation.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As far as I understand it...

    ..a summons to a House commitee has no legal powers on a foreign subject.

    However a COURT can issue a summons to appear which applies to ALL persons. They are not compelled to attend (i.e. we can't demand an extradition), but can be arrested upon entry to the UK.

  17. Jemma

    ** camberwick green theme**

    ] Narrator: "This is a box. A magical box, playing a magical tune. But inside this box, there lies a surprise. Do you know who's in it today? Gemma Dowler , hello Gemma"

    [Gemma waves]

    Narrator: "How are you today?"

    [Gemma puts her head in her hands & shakes her head]

    Camberwick Green Narrator: "Oh dear. Not very happy. Is it Rupert Murdoch?"

    [Toy Gemma nods]

    Camberwick Green Narrator: "Is he going to get away with it again ?"

    [Toy Gemma nods - cut to a toy version of Rupert Murdoch, handing a large packet of money to a smartly dressed MP and looking shifty, Rupert waves]

    [Toy Gemma takes out a little box with a big red button on the top]

    Narrator: "Is that what I think it is...?"

    [Toy Gemma nods]

    Narrator: "oh your berserk button?... um.."

    Toy Gemma: "Bored now".

    [horrible gurgling noises]

    Cut to Test Card

    1. breakfast
      Thumb Up

      That gives me an idea

      There must be a lot of people trying to follow this story who are perhaps getting confused by the complexities of it.

      If only the Reg had a handy reporter on hand with a camera to capture the events as they unfold. Or at least, to recreate them using Playmobil...

  18. Rogerborg

    Wait, what?

    If I become a citizen of Umbongo Land, can I then just stick two fingers up at UK law?

    Last I checked, laws apply to anybody IN the country, regardless of citizenship - he doesn't have diplomatic immunity, although doubtless he'll buy some if it appears convenient to do so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah but...

      The ability to summon someone to a parlementary review is a parlamentary privilage, not a law.

      Its only binding on UK citizens because Parlament represents the Queen (In theory), therefore, not turning up when Parlement requests it is showing disrespect to your sovereign. Its a bit of a hangover from the old Aristocratic days where everyone owed their allegance to someone, and ultimately their king or queen.

      Foreign nationals can get away with this, as the Queen is not their Sovereign as they technically dont *have* to show her respect, however, UK (And i think Commonwealth) citizens can get into hot water if they dont.

  19. NomNomNom


    send in the SAS to eliminate...i mean "extract" him

  20. Jamie Kitson


    According to the BBC they will.

  21. Helena Handcart

    An exchange of hostages

    If the US ends up harbouring the Murdochs, could we perhaps exchange them for Gary McKinnon?

  22. Baked Beans
    Thumb Down

    Excuse, excuses, excuses

    (Perhaps a hundred of them)

    Maybe Miss. Brooks should claim that they had no intention of misusing the data, they merely wanted to show the flaws in the security of the phone network? Works when certain other people do it. And people even believe it too.

    "Rupert Murdoch's cronies are the canary in the coalmine and not the explosive gas."

  23. louis walsh's toilet

    what if he hides...

    in the US embassy?

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