Scotland Yard wants to question News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) CEO Rupert Murdoch as a "suspect" in connection with phone hacking at his British newspapers, the Guardian reported Tuesday.
Murdoch and Scotland Yard had agreed to hold off until the News of the World phone hacking trial concluded before the publishing mogul talks to detectives. On Tuesday, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while his former colleague Rebekah Brooks was cleared in the case. Murdoch’s son, News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, is also scheduled to be interviewed as a suspect in the probe, according to the Guardian, which said the discussions are expected to occur “in the near future.”
Coulson’s conviction Tuesday opens up News UK, News Corp.’s British subsidiary, to potential corporate charges as well as counts against Rupert and James Murdoch, according to the Guardian, a paper that has doggedly pursued the scandal for years now. But the individuals would only be charged if it’s found that “controlling minds” at News UK were guilty of a crime.
The jury that returned the verdict is still considering additional charges against Coulson, a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, including whether he paid officials to access private royal phone books.
The charges stemmed from the revelation that News of the World journalists hacked the phones of everyone from the royal family to movie stars to missing (and murdered) teen Milly Dowler in an attempt to get scoops from 2004 to 2006.