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U.K. lawmakers to recall Murdoch for questions

News Corp. chief Murdoch was in Sun Valley,

News Corp. chief Murdoch was in Sun Valley, Idaho, for a media event Tuesday. (July 9, 2013) Credit: EPA ANDREW GOMBERT

Rupert Murdoch "welcomes" the chance to reappear before British lawmakers to answer questions about a leaked recording in which he appeared to dismiss evidence of wrongdoing at his United Kingdom newspaper titles, News Corp. said Tuesday.

The recording -- obtained by the ExaroNews website and broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 -- caught Murdoch describing the allegations against his journalists as "next to nothing," boasting that his lawyers were refusing to actively cooperate with investigators, and speaking dismissively about accusations of bribery leveled against his newspaper empire.

"We're talking about payments for news tips from cops," he was quoted as saying. "That's been going on a hundred years."

John Whittingdale, who chairs the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said his colleagues voted Tuesday to recall Murdoch for questions over the recording.

Murdoch's company said he "welcomes the opportunity" to answer further questions.

"He looks forward to clearing up any misconceptions as soon as possible," News Corp. said in a statement.

The recording -- allegedly made secretly when Murdoch addressed staffers from The Sun newspaper in March -- made waves in Britain because it appeared to be at odds with Murdoch's vigorous public condemnations of illegal behavior at his newspaper titles. When Murdoch last appeared before parliamentary committee members, just after the scandal over phone hacking broke two years ago, he struck an apologetic tone, saying the appearance was "the most humble day of my life."

Hacking phones or corrupting police officers to win scoops was "totally wrong," he told lawmakers at the time.

-- AP

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