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Posts Tagged ‘News International’

Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson to Be Charged for Phone Hacking

In the most significant charges in the long saga that is the News International phone hacking scandal, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and six others are being accused of “conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications.” The New York Times reports that, if convicted, they face two years in prison and/or a fine.

Brooks is the former head of British newspapers for Rupert Murdoch and ex-editor of News of The World. Coulson is the former head of media for Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron. Brooks released a statement declaring her innocence, while Coulson has not commented on the charges.

Others being charged include Stuart Kuttner, the managing editor of NOTW, Ian Edmondson and Greg Miskiw, two senior editors, reporters Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

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First Criminal Charges Issued for Phone Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks — the former editor of News of The World — and five others are the first to be criminally charged in the now year-old phone hacking scandal that has left many questioning the direction of News Corp. and its leadership. According to The Guardian, Brooks, along with her husband and others, have been charged with “perverting the court of justice.”

Investigators allege that all six removed evidence — including computers, documents and more — from those probing the phone hacking. The maximum sentence for the charge is life in prison, but the average sentence for those found guilty of “perverting the court” is 10 months.

While Brooks and her husband said the charges were “weak,” Alison Levitt, a legal adviser for the investigative team, said, “There is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.” Stay tuned, because the trial probably won’t happen anytime soon.

Rupert Murdoch Addresses the Troops

After this morning’s brutal report from the British panel, you had to figure Rupert Murdoch would eventually address it with staffers. Jim Romenesko obtained a memo from Murdoch to Dow Jones employees, and here is a snippet:

I recognize that for all of us – myself in particular – it is difficult to read many of the report’s findings. But we have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes.

There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right.

We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner.

For the full memo, click through.

UK Panel: Rupert Murdoch is ‘Not Fit’ to Run Media Empire

The months of phone hacking investigations have concluded, and the result is this: Rupert Murdoch has done a lot of bad things. And that’s just us being nice. The report gathered by the British panel had a lot worse language in it.

Some choice cuts, according to The Guardian and The New York Times:

  • “On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications”

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Former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks Arrested Again

Former News of The World Editor and CEO of News International Rebekah Brooks has been arrested once again. The New York Times reports that her she and five other individuals were rounded-up early this morning on suspicion of “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.” In American terms that’s obstruction of justice.

Brooks was arrested — then bailed out — last summer in connection with the phone hacking scandal. She has maintained that she wasn’t aware of anything illegal going on at the paper or News International. Her husband, Charlie Brooks, was also arrested.

The identities of the others arrested was not disclosed.

James Murdoch Steps Down from News International

The fallout from the phone hacking scandal finally claimed James Murdoch. We had been wondering for months when it would happen, and now that day is here: According to The Guardian, Murdoch is stepping down as Executive Chairman of News International.

Murdoch will, however, continue on at News Corp., but his days among newspapers are over. We’re guessing that Murdoch isn’t too upset about this move.

Tom Mockridge, CEO of News International, will be continuing on at News International, effectively taking James’ place.

News Corporation issued the following statement about Murdoch’s resignation:

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FBI Now Investigating News International

Yesterday News International settled with a whopping 37 phone hacking victims, but only one of them — the dashing, scarf-wearing Jude Law — is causing them a big headache.

According to the Telegraph, Law said that News International admitted to hacking his voicemail for a story in 2003. The information contained in the article might have been accessed through conversations Law had with his assistant, who had recently landed at JFK airport. If Law’s phone was operating on a stateside network, the hacking could be punishable under U.S. law.

“We aware of the allegations surrounding this matter and are looking into it,” a FBI spokesperson told The Telegraph.

News Corp. Starts Online Settlement Program

Have you or a loved one had their phone hacked by News Corp.’s News International? Do you feel the trauma you endured can be soothed with a cold compress made of cash? And do you want the very company that screwed you to decide how much of that cash you’ll get?

Well, today is your lucky day, because Bloomberg News reports that News International has begun its online settlement program for the phone hacking victims.

According to a statement by News International, victims can apply online for a “speedy, cost-effective alternative to litigation.” The applications will then be reviewed by a judge who will determine how much the company should pay.

Anyone who finds the amount to be insufficient will be encouraged to dispute it with a News International approved phone.

News of The World Letter Casts Additional Shadows on Scandal

An explosive letter written by former News of The World correspondent Clive Goodman in 2007 is going to make things a lot more difficult for News International and News Corporation. In the letter, Goodman – who was fired from News of The World for hacking and then served four months in prison – complains about his dismissal to the paper’s human resources department.

But it’s not the typical complaints: Goodman claims that he shouldn’t have been fired because he only conducted phone hacking “with the full knowledge and support” of several senior News of The World editors, and that payoffs to private investigators were arraigned by senior officials as well. The Guardian reports that these allegations carry a lot of weight:

The letters from Goodman and from the London law firm Harbottle & Lewis are among a cache of paperwork published by the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. One committee member, the Labour MP Tom Watson, said Goodman’s letter was ‘absolutely devastating.’ He said: ‘Clive Goodman’s letter is the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far. It completely removes News International’s defence. This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime.’

If Goodman’s claims are true it’s going to lead to much more trouble for a company that is desperately trying to silence this scandal. It seems that the longer it goes on, the louder everything gets.

Murdoch’s Guardian News Of The World Slapped With Lawsuit By Brangelina

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Rupert Murdoch‘s British paper News Of The World is being hit by a lawsuit from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s lawyers after the tabloid claimed the couple was headed toward splitsville.

Last month NOTW posted an item saying that the couple had visited a divorce lawyer and were looking into how to split up custody of their six children. Now the duo is going to the high court in London to take action against News Group Newspapers (part of News International) for their handling of the story, which the firm taking the celebrities’ case said “was false as well as intrusive.” News Of The World has refused to retract the story.

Read More: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sue the News of the World — The Guardian

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