According to a report in The Telegraph, Rupert Murdoch could face criminal charges in the U.S. for lying to law enforcement after secretly filmed conversations with employees of his newspapers were released in which he seemed to suggest that bribing officials to get scoops on stories is an acceptable practice.
The Telegraph article goes on to say that if it’s shown that his comments conflict with his testimony to regulators, “it could leave the News Corp chief exposed under Title 18, Section 1001, which makes it illegal to lie to law enforcers.”
Murdoch was secretly recorded talking to “disgruntled” staff at The Sun in the wake of the scandal which revealed journalists at the British paper were intercepting voicemails and bribing officials.
The journalists complained to Murdoch that they had no idea the practice of exchanging money for stories was illegal and that they felt they were being made “scapegoats.”
“Yeah, and one of those high-priced lawyers would say it’s our fault,” Murdoch replied. “But that situation existed in every newspaper in Fleet Street. Long since forgotten. But absolutely, it was the culture of Fleet Street.”
The Telegraph report goes to say that Murdoch’s “acknowledgement that the practice of police bribery was widespread is hard to square with his testimony to MPs during the phone hacking inquiry, when he denied any knowledge of voicemail interception or police bribery.”
Listen to excerpts of Murdoch’s recorded comments here: