Tuesday 24 July 2012

Sue Akers' Evidence At The Leveson Inquiry Points To Serious Legal Trouble For Murdoch And News Corp

A new article from a regular contributor.

Amongst some jaw-dropping evidence on Monday from Sue Akers are these significant elements...
We've worked obviously closely with the CPS, and they have advised us regarding potential offences. We've sought legal advice and in respect of both individual and corporate offences 
Easily overlooked, that reference to "corporate offences" being considered is very significant. Coming hard on the heels of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee which found Rupert Murdoch 'not a fit person', it is clear that News Corp should now be worried about the FBI. The Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a U.S. piece of legislation which enables prosecution in relation to bad practice, bribery and corruption - whether or not those offences took place on American soil.  News Corp, an American company, is wary of falling foul of FCPA through the UK phone hacking, computer hacking, or bribery of police/public officials. Whilst purely speculation, Rupert Murdoch's resignation as Director of his UK newspaper companies could be explained as a pre-emptive move hoping to mollify the FBI and undertake some damage-limitation for the FCPA storm that News Corp can see looming over the horizon.

Additionally, Robert Jay summarised the current UK offences being considered under Operation Elvedon:
...the well-known corruption offences and new Bribery Act offences, and before the Bribery Act, it was of course the Prevention of Corruption Act.
This indicates that the alleged offences (and arrests) must span a period of time that includes the 'high water' era of News Int questionable tradecraft AND much more recent instances as the new Bribery Act didn't come into force until 1st July 2011.  It seeks to bring UK law closer to international legal frameworks dealing with corruption so includes a focus on corporate wrongdoing creating a
new offence under section 7 which can be committed by commercial organisations which fail to prevent persons associated with them from bribing another person on their behalf
Presumably, willful blindness is no defence. 

It should also be remembered that Sue Akers was updating the Leveson Inquiry on Operations Weeting, Elvedon and Tuleta - but NOT Operation Rubicon which falls within the bailiwick of Strathclyde Police.  More individual - and corporate - offences could considered from phone-hacking, corruption and perjury allegations ensuing from Operation Motorman and the Tommy Sheridan trial.

A perfect storm gathering for News Corp?

Related Posts
Glenn Mulcaire And His Money-Laundering Charges
Hackgate for Beginners - Current Police Operations
Hackgate for Beginners - Past Police Operations

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. "Presumably, wilful blindness is no defence."

    But then is "implausible deniability"?