By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 11, 2011 at 12:36 PM ET
LONDON (AP) — Legal experts said Monday it is possible Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. companies may face legal actions because of the shady practices at the News of the World, his now defunct British tabloid.
They said Murdoch’s News Corp. might be liable to criminal prosecution under the 1977 Corrupt Foreign Practices Act, a broad act designed to prosecute executives who bribe foreign officials in exchange for large contracts.
The News of the World was accused of making payoffs to police in exchange for information — a possible violation of the anti-bribery provisions of the act. It would be up to the U.S. Department of Justice to decide if this merited criminal charges, while the Securities and Exchange Commission would determine if there had been financial wrongdoing at News Corp.
Former federal prosecutor Dan Guthrie of Dallas, now a lawyer specializing in white collar cases, said Murdoch’s concern about possible legal exposure under the corrupt practices act may explain his abrupt decision to shut down the tainted tabloid. ….
He said that by shutting the paper Murdoch may be hoping to prevent any possible U.S. prosecution under the act, and also keep prosecutors from investigating whether the corrupt practices were used at some of Murdoch’s other newspapers.
“By closing the paper, you’ve essentially lopped it off from the empire and said it’s gone,” Guthrie said. “That tends to mitigate the need for an investigation. You don’t just close down a profitable paper in a cavalier way; there must be something going on behind the scenes.” …
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Since the National Geographic Channel
is one of Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. companies,
is our Society at any risk in this scandal?