There are new developments surrounding the scandal threatening Rupert Murdoch’s media empire as the mogul and his son appear before Parliament today. Police have arrested 11 people since the hacking and bribery allegations emerged, including the former CEO of Murdoch’s News International Group, Rebekah Brooks who also heads to parliament today. U.K. police are also being questioned by Parliament. They are under scrutiny for failure to investigate previous hacking incidents and alleged ties to executives in Murdoch’s company.
The hearings come as The New York Times reports today that aides close to the Murdoch family spent years and millions of dollars covering up wrongdoing at the now-defunct, “News of the World.” The Times cites interviews with dozens of current and former News Corp employees who say “News of the World” paid police for information. In another new twist to the story, a former “News of the World” reporter and the scandal’s first named whistle blower was found dead yesterday.
There is an ongoing investigation but police say the death is “not suspicious.” The Guardian newspaper is also reporting that British police found a bag in the trash near Rebekah Brook’s home. They say the bag contained a computer, phone, and paperwork. The Guardian says detectives are examining the bag.
As the scandal grows, CNBC reports that Murdoch is considering stepping down as News Corps CEO. The report says he could be replaced by current Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey. Meanwhile, Standard and Poor’s now says that it may cut the company’s credit rating, citing increased business and reputation risks. The agency’s warning comes as News Corp’s stock drops to a six-month low.