Wednesday 20 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch's company was guilty of ‘deliberately thwarting’ the criminal investigation into the News of the World, according to a hard-hitting report published today


The Home Affairs Select Committee study ‘deplores’ the behaviour of News International and condemns the police for bungling their investigation and getting too close to the Murdoch empire.

The report raises questions about the honesty of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and Andy Hayman, who oversaw the original 2006 police probe of the newspaper.

Withering: MPs said they 'deplored' the response of News International to the original hacking investigation

In a withering assessment, the MPs say: ‘We deplore the response of News International to the original investigation into hacking.

‘It is almost impossible to escape the conclusion that they were deliberately trying to thwart a criminal investigation. We are astounded at the length of time it has taken for News International to co-operate with the police.’

What the Murdochs DIDN'T say that spoke volumes: Body language expert exposes chalk and cheese double act... while 'frail and submissive Rebekah Brooks is full of remorse'
'I DID use private detectives at News of the World,' admits Brooks as she claims she only found out about Milly phone hacking a fortnight ago
The report points out that Mrs Brooks’s denial of knowledge of phone hacking ‘is limited to her time as editor of News of the World’, a small part of her career in News International.

And it also raises concerns about her knowledge of illegal payments to corrupt police officers. ‘She did not say that she had no knowledge of specific payments but that she had not intended to give the impression that she had knowledge of specific cases,’ the MPs conclude.

The report raises issues about the honesty of Rebekah Brooks, left, and former assistant Met commissioner Andy Hayman, right

The committee condemns the police, singling out former assistant Met commissioner Mr Hayman,  criticising his handling of the case, his social contacts with News International executives and his decision to take a job with the firm after leaving the police.

It said: ‘Mr Hayman’s conduct during the investigation and during our evidence session was both unprofessional and inappropriate.’

● Police officers will be jailed for accepting cash bribes from News of the World journalists, MPs were told yesterday.

The newspaper is alleged to have paid tens of thousands of pounds to officers who supplied information.

Asked by MPs on a parliamentary committee if any officers would go to prison, the outgoing assistant  commissioner of the Met Police, John Yates, replied: ‘If the corruption cases, which are very small in number, are properly investigated, I have no doubt.’

Mr Yates resigned from the force on Monday after he was told he faced suspension over his links to the newspaper.