News Corp directors may face 'corporate prosecution' charges over 'neglect of duties': Report

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 01, 2012 07:50 hrs

Directors within Rupert Murdoch's media firm News Corporation could face corporate charges and prosecution for neglect of their duties.

According to a News International spokesman, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is leading the police inquiries into phone hacking, conceded the company culture had now changed.

"She agreed that the current senior management and corporate approach at News International has been to assist and come clean," the spokesperson said when asked about representations that have been made to the police or the Crown Prosecution Service about the unfairness of possible corporate charges.

According to The Guardian, a criminal prosecution could have a strong adverse impact on the deliberations by Ofcom as to whether News Corp representatives are 'fit and proper' to hold UK broadcasting licenses.

The paper said one problem for News International is the hacking legislation, under which, eight senior News of the World (NOTW) journalists and executives have already been charged.

It provides for the corporate prosecution of a company, which commits such an offence, and also of any director whose neglect or connivance led to the crime, the paper said,

The most senior executive so far charged with offences, and the only News International board member, is Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive.

Brooks, who joined the board in 2009 and resigned last year, denies separate allegations of an attempted cover-up of the hacking scandal, as well as the charges of involvement in hacking. (ANI)

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