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“The Questions Hanging Over Murdoch, USA.” By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

ColumnJuly 17, 2011

By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

To accuse Rupert Murdoch of shedding crocodile tears, with his head-in-hands apology to the family of Milly Dowler and his widely printed apology at the weekend, would be an insult to honest crocodiles everywhere. A more fitting comparison would be to Lewis Carroll’s Walrus, after luring unsuspecting oysters to a picnic with his friend the Carpenter. “'I weep for you,'” the Walrus said: / 'I deeply sympathise.' / With sobs and tears he sorted out / Those of the largest size / Holding his pocket-handkerchief / Before his streaming eyes.”

The contagion affecting News Corp has spread rapidly in the US. The FBI is investigating potential criminal hacking of the voicemails of victims of the 9/11 attacks. Lawmakers and grassroots groups are also calling for an investigation into whether the bribing of police was a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As News Corp is a US corporation, registered in the business-friendly state of Delaware,even bribery abroad could lead to felony charges in the US.

One likely consequence would be what Corporate Crime Reporter’s Russell Mokhiber calls “a wishy-washy non-prosecution settlement” wherein News Corp would admit to the crime without being convicted, and pay a financial settlement. Mokhiber noted that, in a 2008 FCPA case against Siemens for widespread bribery, Siemens paid $800m but avoided a criminal conviction that would have jeopardized its standing as a US defense contractor.

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