(Cartoon from Dave Brown, the London Independent)
Ed Pilkington, The Guardian:
The latest Operation Elveden arrests sharply increase the danger to News Corporation of potential multimillion dollar fines by US authorities as part of the continuing investigation into alleged bribery of public officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The threat of prosecution under the FCPA constitutes the greatest danger of the phone-hacking scandal for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. It could expose the company to tens of millions of dollars in fines and the risk of imprisonment of its executive officers.
It would also bring the scandal to America, which is the financial heart of the global company.
They seem to be doing this rather than let the police ransack the place.
Ed Pilkington, Dan Sabbagh, and Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian:
The scale of any penalties that flow from the FCPA investigation would be based on a calculation of how much benefit the company derived from any corruption. Against that, mitigating factors would be taken into account such as the extent of co-operation given to the investigating authorities by the company.
That helps explain why News Corp has bent over backwards in recent months to assist the police by handing over evidence of possible wrongdoing, to the dismay of some of its own journalists. British law also states that the police cannot serve warrants on News Corp for evidence if the company is co-operating with inquiries.
The problem is that since the Management and Standards Committee is the one turning sacrifices over to the cops, the rest of the cattle are not-so-surprisingly nervous.
Jamie Doward, The Guardian:
Toxic allegations that the Yard failed to take allegations of endemic phone hacking on the News of the World seriously did for the careers of both the Met’s commissioner, Paul Stephenson, and his deputy, John Yates.
Now it is the mirror image of this relationship that is damaging the Sun. The paper’s journalists are said to be furious that the arrests have been triggered by information supplied to the Yard by the Management and Standards Committee (MSC), an independent committee set up by the New York-based News Corporation, the parent company of News International. Following the first set of arrests, a News International source suggested it was intent on “draining the swamp”, a comment that provoked fury among the company’s journalists.