16 Jul 2011

Apology by Murdoch to dead girl's family

2:55 pm on 16 July 2011

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has apologised to the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was hacked by the News of the World newspaper.

Mr Murdoch met the girl's parents and sister on Friday.

The meeting followed the resignation of the chief executive of the company's British operations as a result of the hacking scandal.

Dowler family lawyer Mark Lewis says Mr Murdoch offered a full and sincere apology.

In a statement following the meeting, Mr Lewis said:

''We told him that his papers should lead the way in setting the standard of honesty and decency in the field and not what had gone on before. At the end of the day actions speak louder than words.

"He was humbled, shaken and sincere,'' said Mr Lewis.

''This was something that had hit him on a personal level. He apologised many times and held his head in his hands."

The BBC reports that Mr Murdoch said during the meeting that the paper's actions were not the ''standard set by his father''.

The dead girl's mobile phone was hacked by the News of the World during the search for her in Surrey in 2002.

Mr Lewis said the resignation of Ms Brooks, who was editor of the newspaper at the time, was ''poetic justice''.

Apology carried in national newspapers

Mr Murdoch has also used adverts in national newspapers in Britain to apologise for what he called the News of the World's serious wrongdoing.

The advert, under the headline "We are sorry" was run in Saturday's Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Sun and the Times.

A second advert will appear in newspapers on Sunday and Monday, outlining the steps that News International and parent company News Corporation have taken to investigate and address previous wrongdoing and prevent it from happening again.