A probe of media mogul Rupert Murdoch might soon take shape in the United States upon reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has 80,000 emails in its possession seized from the servers of the tycoon’s News Corp headquarters.
The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday this week that “the FBI has copies of at least 80,000 emails taken from the servers at News Corp in New York,” prompting Britain’s Daily Mail to allege that new hacking allegations could be lobbed at Murdoch in the US as matters on the other side of the Atlantic near wrapping up.
According to reporters Nico Hines and Peter Jukes at the Beast, this correspondence is contained on a single compact disc and was obtained by the FBI during the just resolved, high-profile phone hacking case in the UK surrounding journalists employed by Murdoch’s since-shuttered News of the World paper. The journalists also allege that the message include communications sent up the chain of command by Murdoch protégée Rebekah Brooks, who was spared by a jury in London this week of involvement in the NOTW hacking scam.
“The FBI emails,” the Beast claims, “…were shared with investigators in London, but their existence was not disclosed to the judge until late in the phone-hacking trial and they were ultimately not entered into evidence and therefore could not be reported until the jury had reached its verdicts.”
On Tuesday, former NOTW editor Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones by a British court, but Brooks was acquitted. The decision came roughly three years after allegations surfaced that the paper — under the umbrella of Murdoch’s News Corp-controlled media empire — had illegally obtained the voicemails of celebrities, politicians and even a slain teenage girl.
As that trial prepares to become a matter of the past, speculation is surfacing that the FBI may begin an investigation of its own into possible misconducted perpetrated by Murdoch or other employees of News Corp, which is headquartered in Manhattan.
The Mail reported that the contents of the messages in question are unknown and the FBI declined to comment when approached by the paper about what purpose, if any, they may serve.
According to the Beast, however, interest in Murdoch’s operations abounds elsewhere. In their report this week, the website wrote that they’ve been provided by a letter in which Scotland Yard acknowledged that London’s Metropolitan Police is pursuing charges against News Corp.
Meanwhile, RT has reported in the past that both the US Department of Justice and the Senate have expressed interest in related matters dating back to the dawn of the scandal in June 2011. With sentencing in the Coulson case expected in only days, American prosecutors may take over from their British counterparts and soon pursue charges stateside, reports suggest.