Ex-Hewlett Honchos Take Fifth

Ann Baskins, others decline to answer questions before House.
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Three top former

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

execs declined to testify Thursday before a House panel investigating the company's boardroom spying scandal.

Ann Baskins, who quit Thursday as general counsel, and Kevin Hunsaker, the former senior counsel who left the company earlier this week, both declined to answer questions Thursday morning, citing their Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Former security chief Anthony Gentilucci did the same.

The news came as H-P execs, including CEO Mark Hurd and former Chairman Patricia Dunn, were scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Regulators and investigators are probing whether company-paid private eyes broke laws by snooping on employees, directors and journalists in a bid to ferret out boardroom news leaks. California's attorney general has said he believes crimes were committed when H-P's investigators assumed false identities to gain access to personal phone records.