Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has been recalled to the U.K. parliament to clarify evidence he gave about alleged crimes by his journalists following the emergence of a secret tape in which he appeared to belittle the police inquiry.
Murdoch, the head of News Corp., told lawmakers in July 2011 that he was “shocked, appalled and shamed” by the revelations of phone hacking and illegal payments to public officials that prompted him to close his prized News of the World tabloid two years ago.
But it emerged last week that during a private meeting with journalists shortly before he gave evidence to parliament — he was secretly recorded railing against the police inquiry.
“Why are the police behaving in this way?” Murdoch said in the recording, published by an international newspaper. “It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.”
The committee’s chairman, John Whittingdale, told mediaon Tuesday that they had asked Murdoch to come back for further questioning, adding that they had not yet set a date for the hearing.
John Whittingdale said that the committee has voted to ask him to reappear in light of the comments he made to journalists.
If Murdoch, 82, refused to appear, the committee could summon him to appear, which carries legal weight in the U.K.
In the tape, Murdoch did not admit knowing that any of his employees specifically paid public officials.
But In the recorded conversation of journalists Murdoch said that he will do everything possible in his power to give his journalists total support, even if they’re convicted and get six months or whatever.
Mark Watts, the editor-in-chief of an international news agency, said detectives on Operation Elvenden, an investigation into inappropriate payments to police officers had also made inquiries about the tapes.