US DoJ sounds out Serious Fraud Office on News International

Police outside News International head quarters in the UK

I have learned that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken informal soundings from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) about how to investigate allegations that the News of the World paid bribes to police for information.

The interest of the Washington-based DoJ stems from the US nationality of the News of the World's and News International's parent company, News Corporation.

It is illegal for any US company to pay bribes to overseas officials, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to sources, the DoJ has not yet launched a formal investigation. But its conversations with the SFO - with which it worked on the long-running investigation into commissions allegedly paid by BAE Systems to acquire contracts - show that it is actively considering whether it needs to launch such an investigation.

I am told that the DoJ contacted the SFO, rather than the Metropolitan Police - which is investigating the News of the World's alleged payments to police here in the UK - because of its existing relationship with the SFO.

This further evidence that the News of the World scandal may infect News Corporation outside the UK will be of concern to the Murdochs who control the media empire, and to its other shareholders.

Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    @ M-O-D
    I there some shrinkage in the linkage or fire down the wire
    or are you just ignoring us?

    maybe all our messages have to go through regulatory advisors first

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    #68 You must be in trouble if you are relying on the BBC to expose wrong doing by News Corp in the US.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    As an American, I would like to see the BBC more deeply explore possible implications of the fallout in this country.

    Here, News Corps major political weapon is its FOX TV network, not newspapers.

    But Murdoch owns FOX only because of a special act of Congress to grant him immediate US citizenship. That act is subject to revocation if Murdoch becomes a felon.

    We need reportage on this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    #66 Marcus - a rather simplistic argument! What counts is the murder rate in states which uphold capital punishment and those which do not.
    States where execution is carried out should be much safer than those where the only punishment is imprisonment.
    The evidence should be clear. Is it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    65 "Shame it doesn't actually reduce the murder rate"

    Actually it does.No executed murderer ever goes on to murder again. Not on the streets or in prison.US crime rate has been declining over the last few decades.Our penal system is one reason why.Doesn't matter though, it's our law.Politicians oppose it at their own risk.Just ask Mario Cuomo.He might have been president if he hadn't opposed it


Comments 5 of 70



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