Rupert Murdoch and his son James have testified before British lawmakers investigating the phone-hacking scandal. London-based lawyer and writer Susil Gupta says their testimony was actually not in their favor.
“The whole exercise was to show that they were cleaner than clean,” he told RT. “But they answered in such an evasive way that I am afraid they were exposed as crooks.”
The lawyer went as far as calling News International “a criminal organization.”
“I think they are a criminal organization in the sense that they operate a vast news gathering operation and use that information to pressure politicians and public officials who get in their way,” he said. “That’s how the mafia operates.”
Though it is an open secret that officers have been leaking information to journalists for years in return for cash, Gupta insists that it is a completely different case with News International.
“There has always been, and always will be, a two-way relationship between police and the press. The information goes both ways, I should say. But this is something on a very different scale,” he said.
“It is not gathering information for the journalistic enterprises, which is what usually goes on,” he continued. “It is gathering information in the defense and furtherance of corporate interests – to gain political influence, to pressure MPs, to pressure public officials who may raise questions about the way News International operates.”
As for the death of Sean Hoare, the former News of the World journalist who blew the whistle on phone hacking at the paper, Gupta said he was not surprised, as the man was destroyed professionally for going public.
“I don’t think there’s anything sinister in his death,” Gupta concluded. “The man was destroyed professionally by News International. The journalistic world in London is a very small place, and if the message gets round that you don’t get to work here anymore, your career is finished. And that’s all Sean Hoare really had, that show-business journalism. The man was destroyed. It is well-known that he was drinking too much, taking drugs, that he was depressed, demoralized, and it’s no strange news, really.”