A group of British phone-hacking victims plan to ask U.S. courts to look into possible “corrupt practices” at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The move could broaden the scope of a scandal that has shaken the mogul’s international media empire.
British attorney Mark Lewis told The Associated Press that he had retained American lawyer Norman Siegel, who represents the families of many of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, to take on News Corp. in the United States. Thus far, Siegel has stated that no immediate action is planned and that he has only been asked “to explore whether there’s legal options that can be brought.”
Lewis revealed few details of his planned legal action, though he did say the case being pursued was not related to rumors that Sept. 11 victims were hacked by reporters at the News of the World tabloid, which was shut down by News Corp. in July.
The now-defunct tabloid is accused of systematically intercepting private voice mail of Britons in the public eye, including, most notoriously, a teenage murder victim whose family Lewis now represents. Britain has been inflamed by allegations that the News of the World hacked people’s phones in its quest for scoops.
The scandal has spurred outrage on the other side of the Atlantic as well, particularly after the Daily Mirror, a rival to Murdoch’s The Sun, alleged that Sept. 11 victims may have been among the News of the World’s targets.
No evidence to support the claim has yet been produced, and News Corp. has dismissed it as “anonymous speculation.”
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