Rupert Murdoch's Top Employees Leave; Giuliani Defends Murdoch’s Honor

Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton stepped down as Rupert Murdoch's CEO of News Corp.’s British operation and chief executive of Dow Jones, respectively, on Friday, after the ninth News Corp. employee was detained on suspicion of phone hacking.

Murdoch accepted Brooks' resignation Friday under suspicion that their paper News International hacked the phones of several people, including a murdered school girl. Hinton also stepped down Friday stating that "the pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable."

He continued, "That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant, and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp. and apologize to those hurt by the actions of News of the World," he said.

The outrage may now spread to America as the FBI investigates whether News Corp. sought to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

But Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City at the time of the 9/11 attacks, asks the media to reserve their judgment of Murdoch, who is his personal friend as well as political supporter.

He chided the hackers involved saying, "They should have the common sense to know you cannot intercept telephone calls. That's a federal felony and a serious one in the United States, and I'm pretty darn sure it is pretty darn serious in England too."

However, he refused to abandon his friend, asking CNN's Candy Crowley to give Murdoch a chance.

"I think that just how high up it goes is a big question and one we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions about," he urged.

One could attribute his statements to the $100,000 in lobbying fees News Corp. paid to Giuliani's law and lobbying firm.

However, the two are reportedly longtime friends.

Murdoch attended Giuliani's 2003 wedding. Murdoch also endorsed him in the 1993 mayoral race.

Giuliani remembers Murdoch as "a very honorable, honest man." He remarked, "This can't be something that he would have anything to do with."

Murdoch originally pinned the phone hacking on a rogue employee. However, several employees of News Corp.'s paper The News of the World have been pinned for hacking. The Sunday tabloid was shut down last week as allegation mounted. Its former executive editor, Neil Wallis, was detained Thursday, becoming the ninth person suspected of the crime.

Murdoch published an apology in British national newspapers.

The apology, which ran Saturday, reads, "We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out."

Murdoch also promised "further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused."

Giuliani said he has not spoken to Murdoch, but hopes to see him soon.

"I'll probably see him at some point in the next couple of days or week," he said. "I see him all the time at various functions."

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