Sometimes you get an email from Brit that makes you glad you're wearing Depends™.
We learned from The Guardian yesterday that the UK's Crown Prosecution Service is preparing corporate liability cases against the highest News Corp. executives. An excerpt:
Directors within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation could face corporate charges and prosecution for neglect of their duties, in plans that are being examined by the Crown Prosecution Service.http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
Company lawyers, fearing a dramatic escalation of the hacking scandal by criminalising the boards on which Murdoch family members sit, are understood to have protested to the authorities.
A criminal prosecution could have a strong adverse impact on the deliberations by Ofcom as to whether News Corp representatives are "fit and proper" to hold UK broadcasting licences.
This could easily explain why Rupert just stepped down from every UK newspaper board he sat on, as well as several in Australia and the U.S. You don't want to still be sitting in the boardroom and calling the shots when the police arrive to arrest you, because your stock price would most certainly take a precipitous nose-dive.
It would also explain why Rupert has been working overtime for the past few months chopping his empire in half, attempting to insulate his "entertainment" divisions from an impending shitstorm within the "publishing/newspapers" branches.
So my Spidey-senses started tingling and I shot off an email to dear Brit, to the effect of, "Is Rupert About to get Pinched?" Brit's response, which I will not reprint in full, for Legal reasons, was a major pant-pooper:
yo matey(Bolding by me, not Brit)
Something big has being going on behind the scenes, and it definitely is a combination of both SEC/FBI moves on corporate liability, and the something really nasty coming down the road in the UK.
The DOJ is milking this in the run-up to the election, but the resignation of Joel Klein from the MSC is no longer a sign that things have been sorted out, but that they are going to get a whole load worse. (Sue) Akers (Lead Met Police officer on the scandal)said the MSC (the investigatory body created by News Corp. to appear cooperative) stopped co-operating in May. That's when they found something really bad. That's also when Murdoch accelerated the split up of News Corp.
Yowza. I realize that so much of this is still a bit speculative, but it can be confirmed that two of the Corporate executives being looked at for possible crimes are Rupert and his son James. From an article in Bloomberg today:
Lawyers for News International protested to police about the possibility of corporate charges that could be aimed at the board of directors, which has included News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, the Guardian newspaper reported today.http://www.bloomberg.com/...
The press office at the Crown Prosecution Service, which is filing charges against individuals in the case, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
Thanks to a great find by BlueStateRedhead over at Bloomberg, this diarist (ericlewis0) would assert that it is nearly confirmable that one or more of the big boys will be looking at charges. Excerpt from the Bloomberg piece:
News Corp. British publishing unit said it is aware of police statements that indicate its board may be under investigation for corporate charges in relation to phone hacking at its now-defunct News of the World tabloid.(bolding by diarist to highlight that I'm pretty sure it's a big deal when prosecutors start talking to police about charges.)
The Metropolitan Police are being advised by prosecutors on potential corporate offenses by the unit, News International, Sue Akers, the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner leading the probe, told an inquiry into media ethics led on July 23.
“We’ve sought legal advice and in respect of both individual and corporate offenses, and also in relation to our police powers and our options for investigating,” Akers said at the time.