Rupert Murdoch has been officially informed by Scotland Yard that detectives want to interview him as a suspect as part of their inquiry into allegations of crime at his British newspapers. (source)Rupert, and indeed James, Murdoch may have edged a step closer to facing criminal trial themselves, though there remain considerable barriers before such a remarkable event could come about.
The verdict on Coulson increases the possibility that Murdoch's UK company, News UK (formerly 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.The Met Police have parked investigation into the Murdochs until the conclusion of the Hackgate trial, which is just about over now, and have swiftly announced their intention to interview Rupert under caution.
Such a prosecution can occur only if the "controlling minds" of the company are found to be guilty of a crime. Following Tuesday's verdicts, the Met police Operation Weeting is expected to submit a new file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.
If the former UK company were convicted of conspiring to intercept communications, the members of its board of directors – including Rupert and James Murdoch – could then be prosecuted personally under section 79 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa). This makes directors liable for prosecution if their company breaches Ripa as a result of their consent, connivance or neglect.
James faced threats of legal action after complaints by Tom Watson MP and others that he may have given false statements to the Culture Select Committee, a criminal offence. This also, at the time, increased specualtion that OfCom would deliver a new formal ruling on whether the Murdochs could still be considered "fit and proper persons" under the legal condition that any UK licensed broadcasters (this doesn't apply to the press, as is quite clear by the rogues gallery of past and current proprietors) must meet.
The PM will face stiff questioning at PMQs today, having ignored obvious concerns about Coulson to hire him as Tory (later government) communications manager. His relationship with the acquitted Brooks is also being raised in much of today's coverage.
the verdict revives troubling questions for the prime minister about his links with Murdoch and his hiring of Andy Coulson. Questions are likely to focus on why Cameron employed Coulson without making effective checks and whether Cameron gave misleading evidence on oath about this at the Leveson inquiry.Read the full article quotes are extracted from here.
There will be many articles on this topic; you can read another (pictured) here.