posts about or somewhat related to ‘news international’

Former Murdoch Aides to Be Charged With Bribing Defense Ministry Official →

Andy Coulson, who edited The News of the World before becoming Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications, and Rebekah Brooks, former editor of The Sun before becoming chief executive of News International, will be charged with bribing a Defense Ministry Official.

Via the New York Times

Under a new bribery act passed by Parliament in 2010, described by British legal experts as one of the toughest statutes of its kind anywhere, the maximum penalty for bribing a public official is 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine, but the statute also provides for much lesser penalties.

The accusations seem certain to precipitate a new debate about the practice known in Britain as “checkbook journalism,” common for many years, under which editors, reporters and investigators have paid sources clandestinely for information, or provided them with other benefits. A defense often made of the practice has been that the information obtained in this way serves the public interest, particularly when a resulting article exposes waste or dishonesty in public office…

…Altogether, more than 50 former newspaper executives, lawyers, editors, reporters and investigators have been arrested and questioned in extensive police inquiries.

News International and its "Compensation Scheme" →

Maybe “scheme” rings better in the English ear but it sounds a bit “off” (read: scamish) to my American one.

Anyhoo, via the New York Times:

News International announced Friday that it had set up what it called a “speedy, cost-effective alternative to litigation” that would allow phone hacking victims to apply for swift out-of-court settlements through a company Web site. The purpose of the program, called the Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme, is to “process good claims quickly to an award of compensation, not to get bogged down in complex legal arguments and speculative requests for disclosure of documents,” the company says on the site.

People claiming to be victims and wanting compensation are asked to fill out and submit electronic forms detailing their claims.

News International has already set aside more than $30 million to pay phone hacking victims; this move is intended to contain its legal costs as it deals with an increasing number of claims.

The above is buried near the end of an article published Friday about the arrest of a journalist at the Murdoch-owned Sun for making illegal payments to police officers. 

The journalist, Jamie Pyatt, won the 2006 Scoop of the Year prize at the British Press Awards for his reporting on Prince Harry dressing as a Nazi at a costume party.

Police Suspect News International Deleting Millions of Emails →

Via the Guardian:

Police are investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive, in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

The archive is believed to have reached back to January 2005 revealing daily contact between News of the World editors, reporters and outsiders, including private investigators. The messages are potentially highly valuable both for the police and for the numerous public figures who are suing News International.

According to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior executive is believed to have deleted ‘massive quantities’ of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a small fraction to be disclosed. One of the alleged deletions is said to have been made at the end of January this year, just as Scotland Yard was launching Operation Weeting, its new inquiry into the affair.

The allegation directly contradicts repeated claims from News International that it is co-operating fully with police in order to expose its history of illegal news-gathering. It is likely to be seen as evidence that the company could not pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test for its proposed purchase of BSkyB.

Takeaway: Things can always get worse.