20 Jul 2011

News Corp must answer questions in Australia - PM

7:42 pm on 20 July 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Australian arm of News Corporation will have to answer what she described as hard questions following the growing phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom.

Ms Gillard says Australians have been disturbed by events in Britain.

At a parliamentary hearing there, Australian-born Rupert Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, defended their handling of events that have shaken the family's grip on their media empire.

Ms Gillard told reporters in New South Wales that when there has been a major discussion overseas, when people have seen telephones hacked into and when people have seen individuals grieving that causes them to ask questions about News Ltd in Australia.

Ms Gillard says News Ltd, therefore, has a responsibility to answer those questions.

News Ltd head John Hartigan said last week that he was confident the company's Australian newspapers haven't used the same practices as some News Corp journalists in Britain.