Sky reserves judgement on Murdoch

The phone hacking scandal continues to claim victims; over the weekend former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks was arrested and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson resigned over links to a former News of the World executive who was arrested last week. James Murdoch will have to wait another week or so before learning his fate as chairman of BSkyB – if, that is, events don’t overtake him.

Independent directors of BSkyB will meet on 28th July ahead of the full board meeting to sign off the accounts due out on the 29th. Some investors were already uneasy with Murdoch’s position, given that he is a director of the company that was making a takeover bid. More have become restless as the phone hacking scandal washes closer to Murdoch, also the chairman of News International.

Much will depend on Murdoch’s testimony in front of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Tuesday. He is bound to be asked exactly what he knew and when and why exactly he authorised ‘pay-offs’ of about £1.7 million to prominent victims of phone hacking on condition they agree to secrecy agreements.

The BBC is reporting that the US Department of Justice is consulting the UK Serious Fraud Office about how best to investigate whether the News of the World bribed police officers.

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