Rupert Murdoch

Police on hacking case a disgrace, says Murdoch

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 3:15am

Rupert Murdoch has vowed to hit back at what he feels is a persecution of his British tabloid titles over phone hacking and bribery of public officials, criticising the police treatment of former top lieutenant Rebekah Brooks.

In a secret recording made during a meeting with The Sun staff in March, the 82-year-old media mogul also indicated that his successor will be eldest son, Lachlan, or Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp.

In the recording, a full transcript of which has been published by investigative website Exaro, Murdoch hits out at the excessive amount of police firepower used to arrest Brooks, the former chief of his UK publishing empire.

"The people who came in and turned over Rebekah on a Monday morning, and her mother-in-law, there [were] about 15 or 16, most of them, a dozen or so, came from Manchester, a murder squad or something. And there were three local cops. It's ridiculous, quite openly," he said.

Murdoch was scathing in his assessment of the police, labelling them "totally incompetent" and a "disgrace", saying that he will hit back at what he believes is a persecution of his tabloid titles.

Geoff Webster, deputy editor of The Sun, referring to the perceived police vendetta, said it would be "nice to hit back when we can".

"We will, we will," says Murdoch on the tape.

News Corp later issued a statement saying: "No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims, and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again." Murdoch was showing "understandable empathy" with The Sun staff, it added.