London: An influential group of British lawmakers say Rupert Murdoch is unfit to lead his global media empire, in a scathing report that says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids.
Parliament's cross-party Culture, Media and Sport committee said on Tuesday that News International, the British newspaper division of Murdoch's News Corp., had deliberately ignored evidence of malpractice, covered up evidence and frustrated efforts to expose wrongdoing.
Murdoch has insisted he was unaware that hacking was widespread at the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid, blaming underlings for keeping him in the dark.
The legislators said that if that was true, "he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies."
"We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company," the panel of 11 lawmakers wrote.
The judgment on Rupert Murdoch implies that News Corp., which he heads, is not a fit to control British Sky Broadcasting, in which News Corp. holds a controlling stake of 39 per cent.