SYDNEY (Reuters) - Investigations are progressing into the U.S. operations of News Corp after the UK phone hacking scandal, U.S. Attorney-General Eric H. Holder said in Australia on Friday.
“There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations and we are progressing in that regard using the appropriate Federal law enforcement agencies,” Holder told reporters.
Rupert Murdoch on Thursday caved in to pressure from Britain’s parliament to answer questions over alleged crimes at one of his newspapers and denied that News Corp was drawing up plans to separate its newspaper holdings.
Murdoch said News Corp had handled the crisis engulfing his media empire “extremely well,” despite looming investigations on both sides of the Atlantic.
In addition to the probe by British lawmakers keen to break his grip on politics, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was looking into allegations News Corp tried to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims.
British Attorney-General Dominic Grieve, speaking at a conference in Sydney with Holder and counterparts from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, said investigations underway into the Murdoch empire should not curb press freedoms.
“We don’t wish to end up, whatever may have happened in this particular case, with a press which is regulated in a manner which is incompatible with freedom of expression,” Grieve said.
Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Ed Davies