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Justice Department Prepares Subpoenas in News Corp. Phone Hacking Probes

Rupert Murdoch
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

A spokeswoman says there is no "indication of a connection or similarity between the events, allegations and practices being investigated in the U.K. and News Corp.'s U.S. properties."

NEW YORK - The Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary probes into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. relating to allegations of foreign bribery and hacking voicemails of 9/11 victims, the Wall Street Journal reported citing a government official.

The move would take the U.S. activity and scrutiny tied to the phone hacking scandal to a new level.
 
A News Corp. spokeswoman told the Journal that there is no "indication of a connection or similarity between the events, allegations and practices being investigated in the U.K. and News Corp.'s U.S. properties."

To get subpoenas, which would seek relevant information from the company, approval from senior Justice Department leaders is needed, which hasn't yet happened, according to the paper, which is part of News Corp. It quoted a person close to News Corp. as saying the moves are "a fishing expedition with no evidence to support it."

The Journal said it has been unclear whether the Justice Department or the SEC have begun formal investigations.

Meanwhile, the FBI has launched a separate probe of whether News Corp. employees tried to hack into phones of 9/11 victims.

"We have not seen any evidence to suggest there was any hacking of 9/11 victim's phones, nor has anybody corroborated what are clearly very serious allegations," the News Corp. spokeswoman told the Journal.