NoW cop payments may bring in US investigators

| 21/08/2011

(Reuters): Executives at Rupert Murdoch's UK-based News International are concerned that emails discussing questionable payments made to police by the News of the World may prove more problematic than those that discuss phone hacking, sources familiar with investigations into the shuttered tabloid's reporting practices said. There are growing concerns inside the company that evidence of questionable payments to police — or other British public officials — could fuel investigations by U.S. authorities into possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an American law that prohibits corrupt payments to foreign government officials. News International is owned by New York-based News Corp (NWSA.O).

"We're more frightened by the (U.S. Justice Department) than we are of Scotland Yard," a source close to News Corp who was briefed about the content of the emails told Reuters. "All Scotland Yard can go after is News International but the Justice Department can go after all of News Corporation."

Thousands of News of the World emails were assembled in 2007 when News International executives and lawyers at an outside firm were preparing responses to a litigation threat lodged by Clive Goodman, a former reporter for the News of the World, who was jailed for hacking into voicemail messages of aides to Britain's Royal family.

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