Murdochs Refuse to Appear Before Parliament

Rupert, James will be in contempt, says one member
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2011 8:52 AM CDT
Chairman of News Corp Rupert Murdoch, right, and his son James Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia, leaves a hotel to his residence across the road in central London, July 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – Rupert Murdoch and son James are refusing the summons to appear before Parliament on Tuesday. According to one member and committee chair, the Murdochs will be in contempt of Parliament if they fail to appear at 2:30pm and testify about their media empire's phone hacking scandal, and their absence would be reported to the House of Commons. News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, who was also summoned, will attend, Bloomberg reports.

The House of Commons can order a warrant or impose penalties, but that rarely happens, and the New York Times notes that because the Murdochs are American citizens, it's not clear that Parliament can actually force them to appear. James Murdoch did offer to appear later, either August 10 or 11, and his father said he is prepared to testify before a separate judge-led inquiry on the matter. Meanwhile, former News of the World editor Neil Wallis became the ninth person arrested in relation to the scandal.

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