The conclusion of the dramatic phone-hacking trial does not spell the end of the scandal, with media mogul Rupert Murdoch to face questioning by Scotland Yard
Rupert Murdoch has been officially informed by Scotland Yard that detectives want to interview him as a suspect as part of their inquiry into allegations of crime at his British newspapers.
It is understood that detectives first contacted Murdoch last year to arrange to question him but agreed to a request from his lawyers to wait until the phone-hacking trial was finished.
The interview is expected to take place in the near future in the UK and will be conducted “under caution”, the legal warning given to suspects. His son James, who was the executive chairman of News International in the UK, may also be questioned.
News of the police move comes after an Old Bailey jury found Murdoch’s former News of the World editor Andy Coulson guilty of conspiring to hack phones, but acquitted his former UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks on all charges.
The verdict on Coulson also means that Murdoch’s UK company is now threatened with a possible corporate charge, while the media owner also faces the prospect of a dozen more criminal trials involving his journalists as well as hundreds more legal actions in the high court from the alleged victims of phone hacking by the News of the World.
Also, the verdict revives troubling questions for the prime minister about his links with Murdoch and his hiring of Andy Coulson. Questions are likely to focus on why Cameron employed Coulson without making effective checks and whether Cameron gave misleading evidence on oath about this at the Leveson inquiry.
The eight-month trial heard copious evidence of the scale of crime at the News of the World. This also included handwritten notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, which suggested that during the five years he worked under contract for the News of the World, he had targeted some 5,500 people. Jurors were also shown internal emails discussing cash payments for police working in the royal palaces.