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.

 
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Phone-hacking scandal

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  • rate this
    0

    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
    0

    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
    0

    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
    +2

    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
    -1

    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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 65.

    "this is not the place to murder.Judges & lawyers may not like it but it's the collective wisdom and will of the people.That's how a real democracy works"

    Shame it doesn't actually reduce the murder rate, or you'd actually have something approaching a cogent argument.

    There's nothing as scary as the idiocy of democracy, and I'm sure you could lecture us on that all day and all night, sunshine.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 64.

    61"you generalise when you say "British Society" approved of the release of Megrahi."

    True, I'm sure there were those who objected, possibly strenuously but most of what we heard and saw was either defense of it or at most a mild rebuke such as "I don't agree with it." As an American I don't see the UK or any European nations as allies.I think they are more like enemies.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 63.

    60"Please give me a green card."

    We don't give them out like candy at Xmas but if you claim political asylum you'll have to show you're being persecuted by a despotic govt.

    Be warned, we have the death penalty in 38 states and federally, this is not the place to murder.Judges & lawyers may not like it but it's the collective wisdom and will of the people.That's how a real democracy works

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 62.

    joining up the dots between 'random' events and peoples point to various agenda's being set by powerful organizations who can wait decades to put plans into motions. this time it was too shallow and phony for the people to buy, like the shady wars perpetrated daily by our own homeboys

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 61.

    58. MarcusAureliusII

    I think a lot of people in the UK want to see evidence of Newscorp malpractice in the U.S. because they want to see him fall and know that if he fails in the U.S. then that will be the most damaging blow.

    Incidentally, you generalise when you say "British Society" approved of the release of Megrahi.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 60.

    "We take our laws seriously including keeping convicted mass murderers incarcerated"

    "prosecution for phone eavesdroppers"

    Oh yeah, the USA is quite the paragon of how to effectively and sensibly deal with crime and criminals, huh? The only developed country with the death penalty. A vast prison population. Institutionalised racism. The Patriot Act (eavesdroppping?)

    Please give me a green card.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 59.

    Why should a society that releases a mass murderer on supposed humanitarian grounds (suspected to cut an oil deal with Qaddafi) be so upset over wiretapping to get tabloid stories?Because of who the victims were.Britain has a double standard, prosecution for phone eavesdroppers where ordinary Brits are the victims, release of mass murderers where Americans are the victims.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 58.

    Brits seem desperate to deflect taking sole blame for letting it get so out of hand by ignoring it so long.They want to say it happened in the US and Austraila too.I don't know about Aus. but in the US so far there's no compelling evidence of a crime yet. It will be investigated and if discovered, likely prosecuted.We take our laws seriously including keeping convicted mass murderers incarcerated.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 57.

    The British govt & society has only itself to blame.After all, it was known or strongly suspected for a long time that the law was being violated by tabloid journalism but there were no investigations, prosecutions or even complaints by the public.So long as crimes were against those it didn't like it didn't matter, nobody cared about the law.Small surprise if it became more blatent & widespread

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 56.

    Surely the whole point of press freedom is that the press push the boundaries, the press watchdog/police patrol the boundaries & Parliament (our reps.) say where the boundaries lie.

    With this in mind, it's not really the press that should be blamed so much (though of course they will be). The system relies on the cops/politicians acting as a counterbalance. These are the biggest culprits here.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 55.

    Don't worry BBC - I can see that this presents an awful dilema for you. You know Murdoch and his evil empire are crumbling - but your STILL FEAR THEIR LAWYERS!

    I on the other hand fear no man...and no corporation. That is why I am winning my war on Murdoch and the BBC are merely a passenger on the trip.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 54.

    Why is it that the BBC - a very large media organisation - doesn't appear to be corrupt but NI - another very large media organisation - is?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 53.

    "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"

    That's not the real reason though, is it?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 52.

    So the DoJ (extremely effective at getting results) speaks to the Serious Farce Office (hardly get any worthwhile results). This should give News Corp pause for thought, because it doesn't matter where in the world the alledged offences took place, if the evidence is there a prosecution will be broght. Now that would be a result.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 51.

    "Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption" has an article:

    http://www.transparency.org/news_room/in_focus/2011/shaky_pillars_bribery_and_law_uk

 

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