As others have pointed out
, Les Hinton
, who oversaw the internal 2007 News International internal inquiry into the hacking of phones in 2007, said that the journalist and investigator involved were one-offs:
Hinton, who then ran NI which is owned by News Corp, spoke to the Commons culture committee looking into the Goodman affair on 6 March 2007. He was asked whether the News of the World had "carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry" into phone hacking and whether he was "absolutely convinced" the practice was limited to a single reporter.
The Guardian understands that Hinton was among five NI executives who had access to the report. The then News of the World editor, Colin Myler, and legal counsel, Tom Crone, are also understood to have seen it.
Having met with the family of the murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has now come out against the News International bid for BSkyB - an amazing turnaround - and making Murdoch's complete acquisition of Britain's largest broadcaster potentially dead in the water.
But Murdoch still has a largely intact media empire, both here and in the US. As it stands Les Hinton could be in defiance of various British laws, and therefore not a person of standing to be publisher of the WSJ, either under simple corporate governance rules, or the FCP act.
NB: For the best live feeds on this, try the Guardian here, the Daily Telegraph, and videos and Tweets from the BBC.
UPDATE: Just to underline that it's not just NOTW nor just celebrities, victims or royals, Michael Crick, a well respected BBC reporter, is tweeting that the former PM, Gordon Brown, is going to make a statement this afternoon about The Sunday Times.
The news is now in thanks to the stellar reporter at the Guardian, Nick Davies: News International papers targeted Gordon Brown
Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family's medical records.
There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him.
It gets more disgusting still - Brown's children were a victim. According to a BBC reporter
BBC told medical records of Gordon Browns son with cystic fibrosis illegally obtained + info then published by the Sun when Brooks in charge
UPDATEX2: Is US pressure now working? According to the Guardian via Reuters:
It appears that lawyers from a group of News Corporation institutional shareholders have filed a complaint at the chancery court in Delaware - the famously business-friendly state where News Corp and thousands of other companies are incorporated - saying the company's board should have taken action against phone hacking years before.
I've just heard Michael Wolff, Murdoch's biographer, say it's "headless chicken" time at Newscorp and:
I think Rupert Murdoch for one of the first times in his life has absolutely no idea what he should do.
As of 19.00 BST Newscorp stock is down 7%
Is this potentially an ENRON moment for Newscorp. As Virginisland Guy says on the Moose:
Ruperts empire is a classic "Grow or Die" model. Cut off his expansion plans and shine the spotlight on the unprofitability of many of his holdings, and the whole will crumble under the leveraged debt load.
James Murdoch could be subject to DOJ and SEC inquiries because of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act