As if the scandals about the phone hacking that shut down News of the World weren't enough. Bloomberg has a sensational story telling us how a former News of the World features editor, Matt Nixson, got one of his reporters to bribe a guard for details about a man who murdered two girls. "Nixson then said to 'chuck her some more money later,' since she wanted 1,000 pounds, News Corp. said in court papers filed Dec. 13 in London,'' Bloomberg reports. "Nixson, who was fired in July, knew bribing the guard was wrong because he told the reporter, Matthew Acton, to arrange the payment "very carefully," since the company had a 'forensic new accountant who doesn't brook any funny business,' according to the filing."
The Guardian reports that Nixson is now suing News Group Newspapers and four members of the News Corporation team investigating phone hacking for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract. He is seeking more than £100,000 in damages.
Still, the revelations in Bloomberg suggests that News Corporation managers knew very well they were breaking the law and that could very well see the US Justice Department filing racketeering charges against Rupert Murdoch's empire.
Already, James Murdoch has brought News Corporation closer to being charged with racketeering after revelations that he sent the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee an email saying he was aware that hacking was rife. "In a jury's mind, it created a big question over whether they believe he didn't read the whole email," said Jeffrey Grell, a lawyer who has written books on RICO. Convictions under RICO law include asset seizures and prison terms of up to 25 years.