Scotland Yard has arrested six people—including former-News International CEO Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charles Brooks—on “suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice,” according to The Guardian. Police have not named those charged but confirmed that among those arrested were a 43-year old woman and 49-year old man. These charges most likely involve alleged bribes of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars paid to British police, military, and government officials, for which they may have been paid to look the other way. This is just the latest legal problem for Rupert Murdoch, News Corp, and by extension the Fox “News” Channel, as investigations continue into sordid practices on several continents.
Police said the arrests did not result from information passed to them by News Corporation's management and standards committee (MSC).
The arrests form the biggest single swoop yet by the Met police in its ongoing investigation into alleged voicemail interception. So far 23 people have been held under Operation Weeting, with two people released without charge.
Brooks was also previously arrested on 17 July last year on appointment at a London police station on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
This is just the latest problem for Rupert Murdoch. Son James was recently forced to resign as Executive Chairman of News International. Last week it was reported the FBI are looking into the alleged corruption of public officials in Russia. And, a Hollywood music agent’s phone was allegedly hacked, but it’s unclear if the act took place in the U.S. or U.K. However, the bigger danger for Murdoch and News Corp would be for the company to be found in contravention of the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which (according to the Wall Street Journal) “allows the Justice Department to levy hefty fines on U.S.-based companies for ill-gotten profits that come from bribing foreign officials.”
Michael Koehler, a law professor at Butler University, and former legal adviser to businesses on the FCPA, said such a probe could take years and cover many News Corp. properties around the world.
In past cases where it has found wrongdoing, the Justice Department has imposed fines of up to double the amount of illicitly gained revenue, he said.