Murdoch Summoned for Questioning by Scotland Yard, Guardian Says

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19, 2013. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg

Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire who controls News Corp., was contacted by Scotland Yard detectives who want to interview him as a suspect in a phone-hacking probe, the Guardian reported, without citing sources.

The interview will take place in the U.K. in the near future, the newspaper said on its website. Murdoch’s son James, who was head of the company’s European operations, may also be questioned, the Guardian said. While detectives first reached out to Murdoch last year, they agreed to wait until a trial of former News Corp. employees was finished, the newspaper said.

Rebekah Brooks, former head of News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit, was found not guilty today by a London jury of phone hacking, bribery and perverting the course of justice. Andy Coulson, a former editor of News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid, was found guilty of one count of phone hacking. The verdicts were the result of a scandal that erupted three years ago upon revelations that News of the World reporters hacked the phone of a murdered teenager, Milly Dowler.

The jury will continue deliberations tomorrow on other charges against Coulson.

James Kennedy, a New York-based spokesman for News Corp., didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg News.

Coulson’s verdict means Murdoch’s U.K. unit could face a corporate charge, which could lead to prosecution of the division’s board members, who included Rupert and James Murdoch, the Guardian said.

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