David Cameron 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
LONDON - Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he would be prepared to give evidence to a judge-led inquiry into phone hacking allegations at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
When asked in parliament whether he would do so if asked, Cameron replied: "Of course."
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Cameron also told parliament on Wednesday an inquiry into phone hacking allegations at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp would call witnesses under oath and the initial part of the probe would report within one year.
He appointed Lord Justice Brian Leveson to head the inquiry, and said that anyone involved in the phone hacking scandal at News International, the UK newspaper arm of News Corp , should play no part in UK media again, no matter how high in the organisation they were.
Later in the day parliament will urge Murdoch to drop plans to further
expand his media empire in a move unthinkable before the phone hacking
scandal exploded just two weeks ago.
The opposition motion against News Corp's bid to buyout BSkyB is not
legally binding but it reflects public disgust at revelations one of
Murdoch's newspapers hacked into the telephones of relatives of war dead
and of a murdered girl.
The News of the World
scandal has reverberated throughout Murdoch's
media empire, casting a suspicious eye on news agencies world-wide.
On Tuesday, US Senator John Rockefeller called for an investigation into
whether News Corp had broken any American laws or used hacking and
bribery tactics to obtain information on 9/11 victims.
The Australian arm of News Corp also launched an investigation into
whether there was any wrongdoing in its editorial operations in recent
John Hartigan, chairman and CEO of News Limited, said in a note to staff
that some commentators, media outlets and politicians had tried to
connect the behavior in the UK with conduct in Australia, which he said
was "offensive and wrong".
He said he had "absolutely no reason to suspect any wrongdoing at News Limited."