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Rupert Murdoch ‘Regrets’ Taped Comments Made to Sun Journalists

Media mogul denies he tolerates illegal payments

LONDON — Rupert Murdoch has told two U.K. lawmakers that he regrets comments that appeared to condone illegal payments made by journalists to public officials in exchange for information.

In a letter sent to Member of Parliament John Whittingdale on Wednesday, Murdoch said his “overly emotional comments” were driven by “frustration.”

He added, “The ‘reports’ that I knew about let alone tolerated payments to police are completely false.”

He concluded, “I do not minimize the wrongs that have gone on in the past at our papers. I remain of the view that our reporters must obey the law.”

In a separate letter to MP Keith Vaz, he wrote, “I did not intend to suggest that any violations of the law are tolerable or acceptable.”

At a meeting with journalist from the Sun newspaper in March, which was secretly taped and passed to investigative website Exaro, Murdoch had said, “I mean, it’s a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent.”

He’d added, “The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable. But why are the police behaving in this way? It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.”

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