UK lawmakers to ask Murdoch to come for questions

Updated at: 07/09/2013 10:05 AM
By RAPHAEL SATTER

(AP) LONDON - British lawmakers will ask Rupert Murdoch to return to London to answer further questions about wrongdoing at his U.K. newspapers in light of a secret recording that emerged earlier this month, a senior parliamentarian said Tuesday.

The recording _ obtained by the ExaroNews website and broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 _ had Murdoch calling wrongdoing by his British newspapers "next to nothing" and apparently acknowledging that his reporters paid police officers for information.

The outlets say the tape was recorded during a meeting with journalists at The Sun newspaper in March. Murdoch told them: "We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: That’s been going on a hundred years."

Lawmaker John Whittingdale said his Culture, Media and Sport Committee voted Tuesday to recall Murdoch for questions. Whittingdale said the committee’s letter inviting Murdoch back had not yet been sent and that he could not provide any details on when the mogul would be asked to reappear.

Murdoch previously appeared before the media committee _ with his son _ to answer questions about phone hacking at his U.K. titles.

Dozens of current and former journalists in Murdoch’s newspaper stable have been charged and arrested as part of sweeping, parallel investigations into phone hacking, bribery, and computer hacking.

Before the committee’s announcement, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told lawmakers her force was seeking a copy of the recording. Dick also said that police don’t anticipate many more arrests _ a signal that the sprawling investigations spawned by the scandal may be drawing to a close.

Dick put the total number of arrests linked to scandal at 126.

News UK, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch’s media empire, referred questions to News Corp. in the United States.

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Associated Press writer Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)