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Rupert Murdoch will appear before Parliament's culture committee Tuesday afternoon to answer questions from members of Parliament about phone hacking and bribing police at various News Corp. papers. Murdoch will be joined at the hearings by his son James, News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer, and Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International. The Murdochs' hearing is schedule to start at 9:30 a.m. EST, though The Guardian reports that the hearings are running a half an hour behind schedule. Brooks will follow at 10:30 a.m. The hearings will be covered extensively on U.S. television--CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Current, and Fox will all be broadcasting. We update our post throughout the events. Scroll down for photos, videos and reporting on the hearings.

2:20 p.m.: Brooks testimony wraps up, and she offers one last statement. "I know you've hear unreserved apologies from Rupert and James Murdoch, but I just want to repeat mine," says Brooks. "When I am free form some of the legal restraints, I would ask that the omitted invite me back [to answer more questions]."

2:13 p.m.: As Davies asks further questions about Rebekah Brooks's relationship with David Cameron, Brooks says that the rumors have gotten out of hand. "I'm afraid that in this current climate, many of the allegations that are coming forward that I'm trying to respond honestly to," says Brooks. "I've never been horse back riding with David Cameron… He is a neighbor and a friend, but I deem the relationship to be wholly appropriate. And never have I had a conversation with the prime minister that anyone in this room would deem inappropriate."

Regarding her former News of the World deputy editor Andy Coulson taking a job with David Cameron, Brooks denies having played a role. "That is not true, never was true," Brooks says, adding that it was George Osborne's idea. She also denies that she never had a conversation with David Cameron about  being hired as the prime ministers press secretary. Brooks also denies that Coulson's salary was subsidized by News International.

2:07 p.m.: Davies is now asking how often Brooks spoke to Prime Ministers David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Brooks cites the Prime Minister office number, "26 times," but says that number might not be correct. Brooks adds that she's not been to 10 Downing Street to visit David Cameron but did visit Gordon Brown and Tony Blair "regularly." She says she can get the exact numbers but guesses about six times a year.

Davies also asks Brooks if she knew that Neville Thurbeck, a former chief reporter for News of the World, was a police informant. "No, is that true?" Brooks replies, surprised. Davies says it's being reported in the Evening Standard. Brooks adds that she's not sure what it means to be a police informant. Crime correspondents often have a "symbiotic relationship" with police foreces, Brooks says.

1:58 p.m.: Philip Davies asks Rebekah Brooks how often she speaks to the Murdochs. Brooks says she speaks to Rupert Murdoch more regularly since she became chief executive. Pressed for details, Brooks said, "On average, every other day."

Meanwhile, we've devoted a separate post to what we know so far about Rupert Murdoch's alleged attacker. Sky News has also released a clearer clip of the pie attack:

1:45 p.m.: Brooks says that she was on holiday when the Milly Dowler story was published. "It's slightly irrelevant whether I was on holiday at the time," Brooks notes. "I was the editor."

Brooks also says she does not recall talking to any other newspaper editors when The Guardian broke news of more phone hacking allegations in 2009. Brooks says that she spoke with Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre "about industry matters but did not ask other papers to downplay The Guardian's coverage.

1:36 p.m.: Former Observer employee Paul Farrelly asks Brooks further about her knowledge of private investigators. Brooks mentions that her own phone was hacked and she "had the same knowledge as everyone else" about the investigators' activities.

Farrelly continues with questions about the emails at Harbottle & Lewis, the "smoking gun" evidence of widespread phone hacking. James Murdoch said during his hearing that he learned about these emails in April or May, and Brooks says she learned about the emails just before Murdoch.

1:26 p.m.: Rebekah Brooks claims that she first learned about murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone being hacked when the story broke in the media. "We saw the story at the same time," Brooks says. "My instant reaction like everybody else was one of shock and disgust. The first thing I did was write to Mr. and Mrs. Dowler with a full apology."

Tory MP Damian Collins presses that an employee at News of the World must have known about the hacking before Brooks. "Obviously the Milly Dowler news story went on for many years," Brookes replies, reiterating that she first heard about the allegations two weeks ago when the story broke in the press, adding that she also wrote to the Surrey Police right away about the allegations.

"It seems incredible that you were so unaware of such fundamental issues in the investigation," Collins says.

"I don't know anyone in their right mind who would authorise, know, sanction, approve of someone listening to the vociemails of Milly Dowler in those circumstances, in any circumstances," says Brooks in response. "I don't know of anybody who would think it was the right and proper thing to do." 

1:20 p.m.: Rebekah Brooks about says that The Sun was a "clean ship" while she was editor. Asked about her statements to News of the World staff that they would understand the decision to close the paper in a year, Brooks replies, "Of course it wasn't the right decision for the hundreds of journalists who worked there who had done nothing wrong… we have endeavoured to find a job for every single one of them."

1:07 p.m.: Tory MP Louise Mensch questions Rebekah Brooks about hacking and "blagging," the practice of impersonating someone on the phone to extract information. "I've never paid a policeman myself," said Brooks when asked about how widespread bribing practices were at News International. "I've never knowingly sanctioned the payment of a policeman myself."

12:51 p.m.: Brooks is denying knowledge of more widespread phone hacking than she claimed when testifying in 2003. Only after the Sienna Miller case in 2010 did senior executives at News of the World know about the broader incidence wider phone hacking.

Tom Watson asks three times what Brooks knew about private detectives. "I was aware that News of the World used private detectives during my editorship there," Brooks finally answers. When asked about the specifics of payments, Brooks says that she not remember discussing particular payments and the payments would have gone through the managing editor's office.

Watson also asks Brooks how closely she worked with private investigators, and Brooks replies "not at all," adding that hiring private investigators was standard practice on Fleet Street during the 1990s. Tom Watson also asks about private investigators Jonathan Rees, whose involvement Brooks calls "incredible," and Steve Whittamore, whom Brooks acknowledges knowing. 

12:44 p.m.: Rebekah Brooks appears before the committee and before answering any questions apologizes. "I would like to add my personal apologies to the ones Rupert and James made earlier today," Brooks said. She adds that her legal counsel is present to ensure she say anything that would complicate that ongoing investigation.

12:26 p.m. Murdoch is offered the opportunity to read his prepared statement. We've pasted it in full below. The most salient point:

I would like all the victims of phone hacking to know how completely and deeply sorry I am. Apologising cannot take back what has happened. Still, I want them to know the depth of my regret for the horrible invasions into their lives.

I fully understand their ire. And I intend to work tirelessly to merit their forgiveness. …

But saying sorry is not enough. Things must be put right. No excuses. This is why News International is cooperating fully with the police whose job it is to see that justice is done. It is our duty not to prejudice the outcome of the legal process. I am sure the committee will understand this.

Meanwhile, a committee member tells Murdoch lastly, "Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook."

12:22 p.m.: Louise Mensch MP asks Rupert Murdoch if he's considered resigning. "No," answers Murdoch immediately. "People I trusted … let me know," Murdoch said. "I am the best person to clear this up."

Meanwhile, more details are flowing in about the pie attack. Jane Martinson at The Guardian has the best account we've seen so far:

The man lobbed a plate of shaving foam into Murdoch's face at point blank range. Astonishing reaction from Wendi who, sitting behind her husband, immediately returned fire. James looked stunned, several members of room gasped, but Wendi then sat on desk calmly wiping foam from her husband's face. Foam all over her blue painted toes as well as two police officers who immediately grabbed him. Shock that he got foam in given tight security. Another man with a long beard also questioned.

12:12 p.m.: The committee hearings commence in a much emptier room. Rupert Murdoch has shed his jacket:

12:05 p.m.: According to several breaking reports, the young protester threw a pie of shaving foam at Murdoch. Dan Hayes tweeted a screenshot of the incident:

And the attacker, via Adrian Chen:

Wendi Deng Murdoch's attack via ABC:

11:55 a.m.: Just before the final set of questions, a man attacked Rupert Murdoch. According to Reuters, "Man threw white plate with foam on Rupert Murdoch's face, Rupert's wife hit him back." According to various reports on Twitter, Wendi Murdoch punched the protester. Police arrested the "young" man, and the hearing is scheduled to resume in ten minutes.

11:40 a.m.: Labour MP Alan Keen asks Rupert Murdoch about nepotism and crisis management at the company. Murdoch says of reporting problems, "Anything that's seen as a crisis comes to me." James adds, "To my knowledge, certain things weren't known."

Keen follows up with a question about nepotism at News Corp. Asked about hiring his son to a senior executive position, Rupert Murdoch emphasized that the company's board and outside advisors all approved the hire that was completely based on merit.

11:28 a.m.: When Rupert Murdoch denies knowledge about the "smoking gun" documents showing  filed with the law firm Harbottle and Lewis that phone hacking was more widespread, Farrelly replies, "Mr Murdoch, you either haven't grasped the point, or you're not reading your own newspapers."

11:15 a.m.: Labour MP Paul Farrelly takes over with questions about Glenn Mulcaire and asks James Murdoch if  News Corp. paid Mulcaire's legal fees with regards to civil lawsuits. Murdoch denies knowledge of the specifics but confirms that the company did pay some fees, a fact that "surprised and shocked" him. "Can you understand why people would be shocked to hear that you are paying the legal fees of a convicted criminal?" asks Farrelly. "Aren't you trying to cover something up?"

Murdoch concedes that he's been told these types of payments are appropriate but reiterates that these facts are involved in a criminal investigation. Murdoch says they should let the police handle the investigation, when pressed for more details about the payouts.

11:09 a.m.: The Atlantic's Nicholas Jackson challenges the idea that Murdoch did not know about the week-to-week operations at News of the World and points to a statement from former editor, Piers Morgan. "Rupert called me every week for 18ms on News of the World - rarely asked about anything but what stories we had that week," Morgan tweeted during the hearing. 

11:00 a.m.: The topic of conversation turns to the resignations of Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton. Asked by Davies about Les Hinton's resignation, Rupert Murdoch says, "Les Hinton resigned sadly last Friday following Rebekah Brooks' resignation and said 'I was in charge of the company… and I feel I must step down'" Murdoch adds that both Brooks and Hinton asked to leave.

When asked why he did not accept Rebekah Brooks' resignation the first time, Rupert Murdoch replies, "Because I believed her and I trusted her and I do trust her." And why he accepted it the second time, "In the event she just insisted. She was at the point of extreme anguish."

Murdoch denies that he sacrificed News of the World in order to save Brooks, despite being quoted saying that Brooks was his first priority. Murdoch says he was misquoted that day. He says that he walked out of his apartment, had "ten microphones stuck in [his] mouth" and does not remember what he said.

10:54 a.m.: Davies continues to grill James Murdoch on payments to Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire after their convictions. James says he was "very surprised" to learn that payments continued and does not know who signed off on the payments to Goodman and Mulcaire. Rupert Murdoch adds that the payments would have been made under the instructions of the chief legal officer.

10:43 a.m.: Conservative MP Philip Davies asks how often he speaks to editors of his newspapers like The Sun or News of the World. Murdoch replies that he sometimes phoned the editors on a Saturday night and that he speaks to the editor of the Wall Street Journal the most because they're in the same building. "To say that we're hands-off is wrong," Murdoch continued. "I work a 10 or 12 hour day and I cannot tell you the multitude of issus I have to handle every day. News of the World, perhaps, I lost sight of maybe because it's so small in the frame of our company…"

Davies presses on about communication between Rupert Murdoch and the newspapers' editors. "Surely the £700,000 payment to Gordon Taylor came up? Wouldn't you have expected the editor of the News of the World to mention that?" asks Davis.

Murdoch denies any knowledge of the payment. Davies asked what the two of them discussed. "What's doing," replies Murdoch.

10:34 a.m.: John Whittingdale asks if News Corp. has plans for a Sunday newspaper to replace News of the World. "No," answered both of the Murdochs, almost simultaneously. James Murdoch replies to a question about how they were advised before the hearing, "We were advised fundamentally to tell the truth… And that's my and my father's intent and hopefully we can show you that that's what's happening."

10:28 a.m.: The Guardian has obtained a copy of the statement Rupert Murdoch would have made had he been allowed to speak at the beginning of the hearing:

. Select Committee Members:

With your permission, I would like to read a short statement.

My son and I have come here with great respect for all of you, for Parliament and for the people of Britain whom you represent.

This is the most humble day of my career.

After all that has happened, I know we need to be here today.

Before going further, James and I would like to say how sorry we are for what has happened – especially with regard to listening to the voicemail of victims of crime.

My company has 52,000 employees. I have led it for 57 years and I have made my share of mistakes. I have lived in many countries, employed thousands of honest and hardworking journalists, owned nearly 200 newspapers and followed countless stories about people and families around the world.

At no time do I remember being as sickened as when I heard what the Dowler family had to endure – nor do I recall being as angry as when I was told that the News of the World could have compounded their distress. I want to thank the Dowlers for graciously giving me the opportunity to apologise in person.

I would like all the victims of phone hacking to know how completely and deeply sorry I am. Apologising cannot take back what has happened. Still, I want them to know the depth of my regret for the horrible invasions into their lives.

I fully understand their ire. And I intend to work tirelessly to merit their forgiveness.

I understand our responsibility to cooperate with today's session as well as with future inquiries. We will respond to your questions to the best of our ability and follow up if we are not capable of answering anything today. Please remember that some facts and information are still being uncovered.

We now know that things went badly wrong at the News of the World. For a newspaper that held others to account, it failed when it came to itself. The behaviour that occurred went against everything that I stand for. It not only betrayed our readers and me, but also the many thousands of magnificent professionals in our other divisions around the world.

So, let me be clear in saying: invading people's privacy by listening to their voicemail is wrong. Paying police officers for information is wrong. They are inconsistent with our codes of conduct and neither has any place, in any part of the company I run.

But saying sorry is not enough. Things must be put right. No excuses. This is why News International is cooperating fully with the police whose job it is to see that justice is done. It is our duty not to prejudice the outcome of the legal process. I am sure the committee will understand this.

I wish we had managed to see and fully solve these problems earlier. When two men were sent to prison in 2007, I thought this matter had been settled. The police ended their investigations and I was told that News International conducted an internal review. I am confident that when James later rejoined News Corporation he thought the case was closed too. These are subjects you will no doubt wish to explore today.

This country has given me, our companies and our employees many opportunities. I am grateful for them. I hope our contribution to Britain will one day also be recognised.

Above all, I hope that, through the process that is beginning with your questions today, we will come to understand the wrongs of the past, prevent them from happening again and, in the years ahead, restore the nation's trust in our company and in all British journalism.

I am committed to doing everything in my power to make this happen.

Thank you. We are happy to answer your questions.

10:20 a.m.: Conservative MP Therese Coffey asks James Murdoch about payments in the form of legal settlements. James denies knowledge about the specifics of these settlements. Rupert supports this, saying that a separate committee approves these payments. Coffey pushes further questioning about payments and who authorized them. Rupert explains that reporters have no authority to make these payments; they are approved by editors. Coffey's last question is about whether News Corp.-owned papers will continue with their practice of aggressive headlines. Rupert explains that newspapers are a competitive business, and they keep pace. "I'm sure there are headlines that occasionally give offense," says Rupert Murdoch. "But it's not intentional."

10:13 a.m.: Rupert Murdoch denies responsibility of the entire phone hacking fiasco. "Mr Murdoch do you accept you are ultimately responsible for this whole fiasco?" asks a member of Parliment. "No," replies Murdoch adding that people he hired and trusted to run the company were responsible, including Les Hinton. "I would trust him with my life," Murdoch says of Hinton.

10:09 a.m.: Asked about reports of an FBI investigation into hacking the phones of 9/11 victimes, Rupert Murdoch says, "We have seen no evidence of that at all and as far as we know the FBI haven't either. If they do we will treat it exactly the same way as we do here."

10:04 a.m.: Rupert Murdoch seems visibly frustrated and confused by some of the questions, as he consistently defers questions to his son James. With each request to let James answer a question, MP Watson refuses and reiterates that Rupert Murdoch "is responsible for corporate governance," so he will continue his line of questioning with him.

Murdoch also denies knowledge of a £700,000 settlement paid to Gordon Taylor, the former chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Watson asks, "At what point did you find out that criminality was endemic at News of the World?" Murdoch replies that "endemic" is a complicated word and adds, "I was absolutely shocked and appalled and ashamed by the Milly Dowler case … Eight days after I was graciously received by the Dowlers."

Watson then asks why Murdoch would risk the jobs of 200 people (the staff of News of the World) in order to protect a small number of executives. Murdoch replies that it's natural for some people to lose their jobs when parts of a company close down. Watson followed up,"Did you close the paper down because of the criminality?"

"We felt ashamed of what had happened… and brought it to a close," Murdoch said in response. "We had broken our trust with our readers."

9:52 a.m.: Labour party MP Tom Watson questions Rupert Murdoch, first asking about Murdoch's "zero tolerance" attitude about wrongdoing. Murdoch acknowledges the wrongdoing and responding to whether he know about phone hacking adds, "I don't know. That is what police are investigating." Murdoch injects again with a statement: "News of the World is less than one percent of our company. We employ more than 53,000 people throughout the world," Rupert Murdoch said. He continued to note that many distinguished people work for his company.

9:47 a.m.: James Murdoch denies knowledge of phone hacking

Asked if the departures of Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton, James says that he does not know whether or not they knew more about phone hacking than they had previously testified. "I have no knowledge and there is no evidence that I'm aware of that Ms. Brooks or Mr. Hinton had knowledge of these things," he said.

9:40 a.m.: Asked by John Whittingdale about previous statements to Parliament in 2007 and the extent to which he may have misled Parliament, James Murdoch first offers an apology. Rupert Murdoch interrupted to speak briefly. "I would like to say just one sentence," said Murdoch. "This is the most humble day of my life." 

9:36 a.m.: James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch arrive at the committee hearing room and the hearing begins.

9:20 a.m.: John Yates, former assistant commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, tells the House of Commons home affairs committee that he has done "nothing wrong." Asked about his relationship with former News of the World executive Neil Wallis, Yates said, "I never spoke to Wallis about hacking." There has also been some suspicion about Yates helping Wallis's daughter to get hired by the Met. "I simply acted as a postbox," Yates said.

9:00 a.m.: According to some accounts, Rupert Murdoch's appearance before Parliament Tuesday afternoon could decide his future at News Corp. Bloomberg reports that the company's executives expressed worry about Murdoch's performance in rehearsals, though News Corp. denies this claim. Regardless of the mounting anxiety, Murdoch is reckoning with the gravity of the occasion. He arrived at the Houses of Parliament three hours early, but when onlookers swarmed his Range Rover, the car sped away, perhaps to another entrance.

London's outgoing police chief Paul Stephenson and former assistant commissioner John Yates are answering questions ahead of the executives. Brooks and Yates should be familiar with these proceedings as they appeared at various committee hearings in the past. The Guardian has collected their appearances into a video that also features former News of the World editor Andy Coulson and former Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton.

Whatever comes out in Tuesday's hearings will be stacked against these past testimonies, and if it's found that any of the executives have mislead Parliament, they could face criminal charges.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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