Murdoch Denies Culpability in Hacking Scandal

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British politicians peppered 80-year-old Rupert Murdoch with questions, Tuesday, trying to get to the bottom of a phone hacking scandal that has threatened to topple the media mogul's empire.

Lawmakers are grilling Murdoch and his son James Murdoch over what exactly they knew about suspected crimes that occurred at the News of the World tabloid.

The paper hacked into the phones of everyone from murder victims to celebrities.

Murdoch, however, denied any wrongdoing, insisting he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed" by his employees' alleged activities.

"I do not accept ultimate responsibility," he told lawmakers. "I hold responsible the people that I trusted to run it and they people they trusted."

Murdoch also fended off charges that his reporters tried to tap into the cell phones of 9/11 victims, saying he'd seen no evidence to that effect. 

The hearing was briefly interrupted when one protester tried to assault the media baron as he gave his testimony before the parliament.

Murdoch's wife intercepted the attack and the man was then handcuffed by police.

Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket offered her insights on the escalating scandal on the CBN News Channel's Midday News. Click below for her comments.

Scotland Yard Under Scrutiny

So far, at least 10 people have been arrested in the case that has rocked Murdoch's empire and tarnished the Metropolitan Police Service of London, more famously known as Scotland Yard.

The world renowned police agency is in turmoil after a second top law enforcement officer, John Yates, quit Monday over the phone hacking and corruption scandal.

Yates' resignation comes just one day after former his boss Sir John Stephenson stepped down as the head of Scotland Yard.

The two have come under fire for their connections to a police media consultant arrested in the affair. Both men deny any wrongdoing. 

"I have acted with complete integrity and my conscience is clear," said Yates, former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner.

"I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice or in deed the extent of it," Stephenson said.

Although Murdoch closed down News of the World last week, that hasn't stemmed the tide of scandal. 
    
On Sunday, former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was arrested in connection with the case. Murdoch's son James is also under scrutiny after paying $1 million to a soccer star whose phone was illegally hacked.

"The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret," the younger Murdoch said. 

British PM on Hot Seat

The controversy is even putting pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron for hiring ex News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
    
Coulson is also a friend and neighbor of Brooks, and there are reports she was a guest at a birthday party for the prime minister.

"He  (Prime Minister Cameron) must take responsibility for the decisions he made, for the decisions he made in relation to Andy Coulson, for the decisions he made around the contacts he had, for example, with James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks at a very sensitive time in relation to the commercial bid for BSkyB,"  Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said.

"And he's also got to take responsibility for the conduct of his government," he added.

Meanwhile, in a bizarre twist in the ongoing drama, a former journalist who blew the whistle about the hacking scandal was found dead in his home on Monday.
    
Police say the death, while unexplained, is not considered suspicious at this time.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.