Last Updated: Saturday, August 17, 2013, 19:17
Murdoch's UK newspaper unit under Scotland Yard hacking probe
"London: Scotland Yard is investigating media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper empire as a corporate suspect in phone hacking and bribery offences.
The Metropolitan Police has opened an "active investigation" into the corporate liabilities of News International, recently re-branded as News UK, which could have wider implications for the ability of its parent company News Corp to operate in the US.
Scotland Yard had launched an investigation in January 2011 into claims that journalists at Murdoch's now defunct 'News of the World' tabloid had been illegally accessing mobile phone voice-mail messages to find news stories.
The phone-hacking investigation led to the closure of the paper as well as further inquiries into claims that reporters had also made illegal payments to police officers and other public officials for information.
Until now, the investigation appeared to be focused on News Corp employees rather than the company as a whole.
But, according to The Independent newspaper, it has emerged that one of Murdoch's most senior lawyers has been interviewed under caution on behalf of the company and two other very senior figures have been officially cautioned for corporate offences.
Under British law, the Crown Prosecution Service can treat a company as a "legal person" who is "capable of being prosecuted".
A company can be found guilty if any potential offender can be established as the "directing mind and will" of the organisation.
Lawyers for the Met Police identified News International as "suspects" as long ago as October 2011.
The force is believed to have warned News Corp that its UK subsidiary, which publishes 'The Sun', was under formal investigation on May 18, 2012."
News International could face corporate charges over phone hacking