Rupert Murdoch’s global empire is set to face new legal action in the US over alleged illegal practices by News Corp journalists. The lawyer at the heart of the phone-hacking scandal in the UK, Mark Lewis, who was instrumental in exposing the scale of illegal voicemail accessing at the News of the World, is in the “advanced stages” of bringing his first case against News Corp on the other side of the Atlantic.
The news comes as Mr Murdoch prepares to fly to London following a series of arrests of senior Sun journalists.
The prospect of Mr Lewis supervising legal action in the US will do little to reassure the embattled board of News Corp that a new front on illegal practices is about to open in their own back yard. US authorities, including the FBI, are already accelerating their own inquiries into the Murdoch media empire over alleged violations of US law on corrupt payments to foreign officials.
Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, it is a crime for U.S. businesses or their employees to pay off representatives of a foreign government in an attempt to gain a commercial advantage. Last July, Reuter’s James Ledbetter explained why that could apply to New Corp. That would be over and above any civil cases led by Lewis, of course.