Lawyer in News Corp. Phone-Hacking Case Looking Into Class Action Lawsuit Against Rupert and James Murdoch

There are a lot of reasons why we'd like to see the legal action taken against Rupert Murdoch, and the recent phone-hacking scandal ranks right up there. According to an article today in The Guardian, we just might get our wish:

The solicitor who represented the family of Milly Dowler in their phone-hacking claims against News Corporation on Friday announced he has teamed up with US lawyers with a view to initiating proceedings targetting Rupert Murdoch and his son James.

Mark Lewis of Taylor Hampton has instructed Norman Siegel, a New York-based lawyer who represents 20 9/11 families to seek witness statements from News Corp and directors including the Murdochs in relation to allegations that News of the World staff may have bribed police.

He says he intends to assess whether he can launch a class action against News Corp using American foreign corruption laws, which make it illegal for US companies to pay bribes to government officials abroad.

But that's not the only bad news for Murdoch:

Separately, it emerged that this week US prosecutors at the Department of Justice have written to Murdoch's News Corporation requesting information on alleged payments made to the British police by the News of the World. The DoJ is looking into whether the company may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Under FCPA laws, American companies are banned from paying representatives of a foreign government to gain a commercial advantage.

The decision to co-ordinate legal efforts on both sides of the Atlantic comes just days after News International confirmed it was in settlement talks with the parents of the murdered 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Reportedly, that settlement will total about £3 million (or about $1.36 million), including a £1 million donation from Murdoch's personal coffers to a charity chosen by the Dowlers. Now what retribution for the rest of the families whose loved ones were hacked?

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at September 23, 2011, 7:08am

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