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August 30, 2011

Report: Murdochs to be questioned under oath, phone-hacking inquiry could be broadcast live

By KimHeinz

Rupert and James Murdoch are to be questioned under oath at the High Court as part of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The paper claimed the inquiry will kick off at the end of next month with a series of seminars for senior journalists and ‘other interested parties’looking into ‘the law, ethics of journalism and the ‘practice and pressures of investigative journalism’.

They will also look at ‘how press regulation will protect the integrity, freedom and independence of the press, while ensuring the highest standards”.

The inquiry is to be held at the Royal Courts of Justice, in the same court as the official inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Telegraph reported that Prime Minister David Cameron and other ‘senior politicians’are likely to be questioned over their links to News of the World publisher News International.

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As well as the Murdochs, Leveson is also expected to call former NoW editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, it was reported.

Lord Justice Leveson is reportedly ‘keen for the proceedings to be broadcast live to ensure they are seen to be transparent”.

In July Cameron announced the inquiry would split into two parts: the first will look at areas including the ethics and culture of the British press, while the second will examine specific claims about phone hacking at the News of the World and what went wrong with the original police investigation.

The inquiry has been established under the 2005 Inquiries Act – giving it the power to summon journalists, politicians and proprietors under oath.

Cameron also announced the inquiry will look into the behaviour of social media and broadcasters, and not just the press.

The following six-strong panel will support Lord Justice Leveson:

  • Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti
  • former police chief Sir Paul Scott-Lee
  • Former Ofcom director David Currie
  • Channel 4 political editor Elinor Goodman
  • former Daily Telegraph political editor George Jones
  • Former Financial Times chairman Sir David Bell

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