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Murdoch and son called before Parliament

by Adam Russett on July 14, 2011

The phone hacking scandal that caused media mogul Rupert Murdoch to close the British tabloid News of the World, prompted a series of revelations that has left many wondering how involved the News Corp. owner was in the illicit tactics. So much so, in fact, that he and his son, James, have been called to testify before a British parliamentary panel. 

Rebekah Brooks, the editor of the News of the World at the time of the scandal, was also called to testify. She agreed, but said that she may not be able to provide detailed answers, according to The New York Times.

The two Murdochs refused to appear and although Parliament still demands them to show next week on Tuesday, many are unsure of how to force the issue. Brooks is a British citizen, but Rupert and James are American citizens.

However, Rupert Murdoch said that he would agree to testify before a separate inquiry. If neither of the Murdochs show up, there is a slight chance that they could be labeled as in contempt of Parliament and possibly imprisoned.

"If a witness fails to attend when summoned, the committee reports the matter to the House and it's then for the House to decide what further action to take," leader of the House of Commons George Young told Parliament. "There hasn’t been a case of that kind for some considerable time. The House can order a witness to attend a committee. Apparently this hasn’t happened since 1920."

So far, the scandal has cost News Corp. more than just reputation. The corporation pulled out of its bid for pay-TV service BSkyB and paid the company £38.5m for reneging on the deal. News Corp. stocks have been shaky as well. 

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