James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, overseer of News Corp’s properties in Europe and Asia, could face criminal charges over his role in the phone hacking scandal at News Corp tabloid News of the World. In the U.S. and the U.K.
News of the World was recently shut down due to allegations that private detectives on its payroll, with the approval of some of its editors, had hacked into the voicemail of private citizens who were murder and abduction victims. Crazy!
All fingers have been pointed to the Corp’s head, Rupert Murdoch, but now his son, James may face prosecution in the U.S. under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as News of the World‘s parent company, News International, is a subsidiary of the U.S. based News Corp.
Butler University law professor Mike Koehler, an FCPA expert, said: “I would be very surprised if the US authorities don’t become involved in this [NI] conduct.”
He said the scandal appeared to qualify as an FCPA case on two counts. First, News Corp is a US-listed company, giving the US authorities jurisdiction to investigate allegations. “Second, perhaps more importantly, the act requires that payments to government officials need to be in the furtherance of ‘obtaining or retaining’ business. If money is being paid to officials, in this case the police, in order to get information to write sensational stories to sell newspapers, that would qualify,” he said.