London mayor defends Olympic invite for Murdoch

Associated Press
London Mayor Boris Johnson, center, poses for pictures with fans of Britain's team following a photo-op with London ambassadors, the volunteers working around the city to give tourists directions and information, in central London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. After meeting Tuesday with the volunteers, Johnson firmly denied media reports that he was trying to capitalize on the goodwill churned up by the games to catapult himself into the prime minister's chair.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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London Mayor Boris Johnson, center, poses for pictures with fans of Britain's team following a photo-op with London ambassadors, the volunteers working around the city to give tourists directions and information, in central London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. After meeting Tuesday with the volunteers, Johnson firmly denied media reports that he was trying to capitalize on the goodwill churned up by the games to catapult himself into the prime minister's chair. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

LONDON (AP) — London Mayor Boris Johnson has defended his decision to invite media mogul Rupert Murdoch to watch Olympic swimming events Friday, describing Murdoch as an important sponsor of sports.

Murdoch's News Corp. is the subject of a long-running U.K. police and parliamentary investigation into phone-tapping by journalists at its publications, chiefly the defunct News of the World tabloid.

But Johnson said Wednesday no one had proven that Murdoch did anything wrong and he would be poolside at the Olympic swimming finals.

The mayor says "there's a sort of demonization of Rupert Murdoch ... he's not a convicted criminal. He's not even under any criminal investigation."

Johnson said Murdoch "has done more to sponsor sport in London and indeed in the country than almost anybody else I can think of."

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