Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton was asked last week by England's House of Commons to testify about the rampant wiretapping that he allegedly oversaw when running Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers. He's not going to show.
Gawker has learned that Hinton will not be hopping across the pond to help explain revelations that reporters for the News of the World and the Sun, two Murdoch papers under his purview when he ran News International Group, engaged in rampant wiretapping and that News International paid off victims to the tune of $1.6 million in exchange for their silence.
The wiretapping scandals first broke in 2007, when Hinton was running News International. After News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman was convicted of tapping the phones of various royals and their entourages, Hinton told the House of Commons' culture committee that he had thoroughly investigated the charges and assured Parliament that Goodman was acting alone. Last week, the Guardian reported that nearly 30 News of the World and Sun reporters were engaged in wiretapping and other invasions of privacy.
According to the *ahem* Wall Street Journal, the committee has invited Hinton back to explain the discrepancy:
A parliamentary committee that monitors media policy — the lower house committee on culture, media and sport — plans to hold hearings into the matter as early as Tuesday. The committee has invited Les Hinton, the current chief executive of Dow Jones and the former head of News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper operations, to give evidence. A spokesman for Mr. Hinton declined to comment.
Hinton won't be taking them up on the offer, a source tells Gawker. Tomorrow, the committee will begin hearings on the affair with testimony from an editor and reporter for the Guardian, which broke the story.