Rupert Murdoch remains vulnerable to the UK phone hacking inquiries despite a split verdict yesterday in cases involving two of his former lieutenants, Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks: Scotland Yard has officially told the Fox CEO that it wants to interview him soon, and considers him a suspect, according to The Guardian‘s Nick Davies. “It is understood that detectives first contacted Murdoch last year to arrange to question him but agreed to a request from his lawyers to wait until the phone-hacking trial was finished,” he writes. Fox co-COO James Murdoch — who, in addition to being Rupert’s son, ran UK operations when much of the hacking took place — “may also be questioned,” the paper says.
Murdoch’s camp seemed to have prevailed yesterday when a jury cleared Brooks — who once ran News International and was one of the mogul’s closest advisers — but convicted former News Of The World editor Coulson of conspiracy to hack other people’s phones. The latter decision means that News UK (the new incarnation of News International) “could be charged as a corporation, which in turn could potentially lead to the prosecution of members of the UK company’s former board of directors, potentially including Rupert and James Murdoch,” Davies writes. The country’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act holds directors responsible for company lawbreaking that results from their consent, connivance or neglect.