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On the second day of Rupert Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Ofcom said it would examine evidence of phone hacking as part of its investigation into whether BSkyB is a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcasting licence.
Ofcom has requested private court documents disclosed to lawyers acting for several alleged victims of phone hacking by the News of the World. If Ofcom decides that James Murdoch, News Corp’s deputy chief operating officer and former chairman of News of the World publisher News International, or the company itself are not “fit and proper” owners, the regulator could revoke BSkyB’s licence to broadcast in the UK.
Ofcom said: “Ofcom is gathering evidence which may assist it in assessing whether BSkyB is and remains fit and proper to continue to hold its broadcast licences. As part of this ongoing assessment Ofcom has contacted News Group Newspapers requesting documents which it understands are held by the company and which may be relevant to this assessment. BSkyB is party to this correspondence.”
News International is cooperating with the request for court documents. Ofcom now has a dedicated team of seven or eight investigators examining evidence under the codename Project Apple.