Rupert and James Murdoch to appear before Leveson Inquiry again

Friday 20 April 2012 11.40
Rupert and James Murdoch appeared before a British parliamentary committee in July 2011
Rupert and James Murdoch appeared before a British parliamentary committee in July 2011

Rupert Murdoch and his son James will appear next week before the British inquiry into press standards set up after the tabloid phone-hacking row.

The witness list for the Leveson Inquiry revealed that James Murdoch is due to attend Tuesday and Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday and possibly again on Thursday.

Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian owner of The Independent and London's Evening Standard newspapers, and Aidan Barclay, the owner of The Daily Telegraph broadsheet, will give evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

Rupert Murdoch owned the News of the World tabloid before he shut it down in July following revelations that its journalists had illegally accessed the voicemails of public figures and victims of crime.

His youngest son James was executive chairman of News International, the arm of News Corporation that published the tabloid, until he quit in February.

Despite denying any knowledge that the practice went beyond a reporter and a private detective who were jailed in 2007, James Murdoch has relinquished all his major media roles in Britain.

Once considered the heir to the News Corp empire, the 39-year-old resigned his job at News International, which also publishes The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper.

Earlier this month he also quit as chairman of BSkyB, the British pay-television giant in which his father's company has a 39% stake.

However, James Murdoch remains deputy chief operating officer of News Corp, which is based in the United States.

Both Murdochs appeared before a British parliamentary committee in July 2011 to answer questions about phone hacking and James Murdoch was recalled in November to explain discrepancies in his testimony.

The parliamentary hearing in July had to be halted when a protester attacked Rupert Murdoch with a shaving foam pie.

When they appear next week, the Murdochs will be questioned about the relationship the media has with politicians, the public and the police, the three subjects forming the basis of judge Brian Leveson's investigations.

The inquiry was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron after the hacking scandal exploded last July with the revelation that the News of the World had accessed the voicemail of a missing teenager who was later found murdered.

The scandal reverberated across the British establishment, claiming the jobs of two senior policemen who had ties to the News of the World and sparking the resignation of Mr Cameron's media advisor, a former editor of the tabloid.

It has also resulted in dozens of arrests for phone hacking, the alleged bribery of police and other public officials, and computer hacking.

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