Rupert Murdoch may feel the sting of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal across the world, in the country of his birth.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is calling for an inquiry into News Limited, the Down Under leg of Murdoch's media empire.
Gillard believes that hacking and other unsavory practices such as bribing police officers and blackmailing judges may be endemic to Murdoch's entire organization.
When there has been a major discussion overseas, when people have seen telephones hacked into, when people have seen individuals grieving have to deal with all of this, then I do think that causes us to ask some questions here in our country. Obviously, News Ltd. has got a responsibility to answer those questions when they're asked, Gillard told reporters in New South Wales.
It was not the first time such a claim has been made. In England on Tuesday, members of the British Parliament grilled Murdoch at a House Affairs Committee meeting on the breadth of hacking in the newspaper industry.
News Ltd said it would be willing to answer the Prime Minister's questions, but were nettled by here accusations.
The prime minister's comments seek to draw a link between News Corporation operations in the UK and those here in Australia, News Ltd Chairman and chief executive John Hartigan said in a statement.
The comments were unjustified and regrettable, he added. We have answered every question put to us on this issue openly. If the prime minister has more questions we would be happy to respond.
Hartigan did assure the press that he would initiate a thorough review of the last three years of editorial expenditures.
It was found that News of the World had been hiring private investigators -- often convicted felons -- to secure information and leads by any means. The practice had been going on at least since 2003, if not earlier. Former editor Rebekah Brooks, as well as Murdoch himself, said it was not their responsibility to look at or approve the payments.
No one is more appalled or is more concerned about what has happened in the UK than we are. It is an affront to everyone at News in Australia and a slur on the professionalism of our people, especially our journalists, Hartigan said.
Murdoch's empire started in Australia when he inherited The News from his father in 1952. Since then, he has grown his domestic presence to more than 25 news outlets, 28 magazines and a television station. He also has a stake in newspapers on the nearby islands of Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The media mogul gave up his Australian citizenship in 1985 so that he could become a U.S. citizen and buy a television station.