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U.S. Justice Department Asks News Corp For Information About Paying British Bribes

Can News Corp Escape The Scandal Unscathed?

U.S. prosecutors are checking to see if News Corp violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They have have written to request info on alleged bribes paid by its employees to UK police, Bloomberg reported. The inquiry comes on the heels of a Justice Department and FBI probe investigating claims that victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had their phones hacked by News Corp employees. The request for information in the bribery case doesn’t carry the same legal force as a grand jury subpoena, which would compel a response under law. News Corp is the target of three UK police investigations and a Parliamentary probe on phone hacking by reporters at the News of the World. The company shut down the newspaper and abandoned BSkyB takeover plans after allegations that its reporters deleted voice mails from a murdered schoolgirl’s phone.

In London meanwhile, Scotland Yard said it won’t force reporters at The Guardian to reveal their sources on the bribery and phone hacking cases after all. They had sought the names under the UK’s Official Secrets Act, normally used to prosecute spies. “This decision does not mean that the investigation has been concluded,” the police said in a statement. The department said their probe “has always been about whether a police officer has leaked information and gathering any evidence that proves or disproves that.” The Daily Telegraph and Sky News have … Read More »

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News Corp Scandal: Scotland Yard Goes After Reporters Who Embarrassed Them

Scotland Yard is demanding that reporters at The Guardian disclose the confidential sources that enabled the paper to break the News Corp phone hacking scandal story. The police are citing the UK’s Official Secrets Act — normally used against spies — in a legal bid to get the names. It was The Guardian’s revelation in July that Scotland Yard had poorly handled its investigation of the News of the World for hacking the phone of a missing murdered girl that set the scandal in motion. The fallout from that and allegations that the police were influenced by News Corp officials resulted in the ouster of top Scotland Yard officers. It also caused Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to close the News of the World, abandon its BSkyB takeover bid and submit to the current series of legal and government inquiries. The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger said, “We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost.” Former Labour minister Tom Watson said: “It is an outrageous abuse and completely unacceptable that, having failed to investigate serious wrongdoing at the News of the World for more than a decade, the police should now be trying to move against The Guardian.”

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