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US drops phone hacking probe into Murdoch companies

News Corp and 21st Century Foxm both owned by Rupert Murdoch, will not be prosecuted. Credit: Reuters

Rupert Murdoch's media companies will not face prosecution in America over allegations of phone-hacking and payments to public officials in Britain.

The US Department of Justice had been investigating both News Corp and 21st Century Fox but after completing its probe it said it would not pursue charges.

Gerson Zweifach, representing both companies, said: "We are grateful that this matter has been concluded and acknowledge the fairness and professionalism of the Department of Justice throughout this investigation."

The News of the World newspaper closed as a result and a number of its former journalists have since been convicted following the scandal.

In July last year ex-editor Andy Coulson was found guilty of the hacking plot while his predecessor Rebekah Brooks was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Murdoch: 'Still all to play for' in referendum

Rupert Murdoch has tweeted that it's "still all to play for" in the Scottish referendum after a poll revealed the No campaign is holding a narrow lead.

He has tweeted in the past that he is "wrestling with Scottish vote."


Rupert Murdoch 'wrestling with Scottish vote'

Rupert Murdoch has weighed into the Scottish referendum debate, tweeting that the Scots are "better people than to be dependants of London".

Murdoch clutches The Sun as he leaves London home

Rupert Murdoch as he leaves his London home.

Rupert Murdoch clutched a copy of The Sun as he left his London home this morning.

ITV News understands the media tycoon is on his way to a staff meeting at News UK, the British newspaper arm of his News Corp company.

The media tycoon can be seen holding a copy of the Sun in the front seat of the car.

Murdoch in London for meeting after hacking trial

Rupert Murdoch has left his central London flat and is believed to be heading to News UK for a meeting with staff, ITV News understands.

The 83-year-old was reading The Sun newspaper as he sat in the front seat of a grey Range Rover.

Murdoch's arrival in the UK follows the acquittal of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks on phone hacking charges.

Nick Clegg distances himself from Huhne claims

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has distanced himself from claims by former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne that he was targeted by Rupert Murdoch's newspapers because he called for an inquiry into phone hacking.

Former Energy Secretary Huhne claimed the News of the World hired a private investigator to gain information about an extra-marital affair which ultimately led to the break-up of his marriage after he spoke out about hacking.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Huhne, who left Parliament after being jailed for persuading his then wife to take his speeding points, then accused the Sunday Times of "grooming" his ex-wife Vicky Pryce so she would reveal all about the speeding points.

Speaking at his monthly Whitehall press conference, Mr Clegg - who emphasised the importance of newspapers holding public figures to account - said: "Chris has to speak for himself. All I can tell you is that is his opinion.

"Is it exactly my opinion? No it isn't because, guess what, we're different people. I'm not Chris's keeper."


Huhne attacks 'Murdoch press' for role in his downfall

Former Cabinet minister and Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne faces the media on his release from prison May. Credit: Empics

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has attacked "the Murdoch press" for its role in the speeding points swap scandal which led to the jailing of him and his ex-wife.

Writing in the Guardian newspaper, he admitted that "[his] own behaviour has not helped" but said he believes his calls for the Metropolitan Police to reopen their hacking investigation turned the editors of certain publications against him.

"The News of the World sparked the end of my marriage, but another Murdoch title, the Sunday Times, then groomed my ex-wife until she told them about the speeding points," he said.

Murdoch: 'I used wrong adjectives to voice frustration'

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz wrote to Rupert Murdoch asking him to comment on the secret recording.

In a reply released today, Mr Murdoch said:

I accept that I used the wrong adjectives to voice my frustration over the course of the police investigation.

But I had been hearing for months about pre-dawn raids undertaken by as many as 14 police officers, and that some employees and their families were left in limbo for as much as a year and a half between arrest and charging decisions.

I have no basis to question the competence of the police and I and our newspapers respect the work that they do every day to protect the public.

But I do question whether, over the last two years, the police have approached these matters with an appropriate sense of proportion, and with regard for the human cost of delay.

Rupert Murdoch: Hacking probe has 'gone on too long'

Rupert Murdoch has reneged on claims the investigation into phone hacking and corruption is "totally incompetent" but said Scotland Yard's probe appears "excessive" and has "gone on too long".

Rupert Murdoch has written a letter to MPs about the hacking probe. Credit: Press Association

In a letter responding to demands from MPs that the media magnate explain comments he made about police at a staff meeting, he conceded using the "wrong adjectives" to describe his frustration at events over the last two years.

But the News Corp boss also questioned whether officers had "approached these matters with an appropriate sense of proportion" and said it would be unfair to suggest his company had impeded the Metropolitan Police's inquiries.

Mr Murdoch was apparently recorded describing the treatment of journalists who had been arrested as a "disgrace" during a meeting in March and saying that police had been told to obtain court orders to get information, rather than the company offering up material as it had done previously.

Murdoch accepts MPs' request to be quizzed again

A spokesman for News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has announced that he has accepted the request by MPs on the culture, media and sport committee to appear in front of them again, after a recording emerged of him apparently venting his anger about police investigations into his newspapers:

Mr Murdoch welcomes the opportunity to return to the Select Committee and answer their questions.

He looks forward to clearing up any misconceptions as soon as possible.

– News UK spokesman
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