News Corp. Phone Hacking Scandal: Lawyer Eyeing U.S. Suits Arrives in New York, May Call on FBI


While the U.S. legal front has moved into the spotlight with the arrival of lawyer Mark Lewis, a parliamentary committee in the U.K. is discussing a second draft of a report on the hacking allegations against Rupert Murdoch's conglomerate.

LONDON - The U.K. lawyer who has led the fight for victims of the News Corp. phone hacking scandal may ask the FBI for help in his pursuit of three possible U.S. hacking lawsuits, while a parliamentary committee here continues to discuss a report on the hacking issue, The Guardian reported.

The lawyer, Mark Lewis, arrived in New York on Monday for five days of legal discussions, telling the paper that he was determined to "go wherever the evidence takes us." He hasn't had a meeting with the FBI, but through an intermediary, Lewis has signaled it could help with probing evidence on U.S. soil, the Guardian said.

Meanwhile, members of a parliamentary committee here met late Monday to discuss a second draft of their final phone hacking report, expected in May after News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and son and deputy COO James Murdoch appear for questioning, the Guardian also reported. Quoting sources, the paper said the first draft had been described as "watered down."

But one member of the all-party committee, conservative Damian Collins, signaled that the committee would likely keep James Murdoch clear of allegations that he misled parliament over the phone hacking issue. Collins told the Guardian that Murdoch "may be guilty of not asking the right questions" over phone hacking though.

In another development on the phone hacking front, most of the 17 former journalists of News Corp.'s News International U.K. newspaper arm who were arrested in connection with phone hacking charges have had their bail extended, the paper said, citing Scotland Yard. The group, including former News International boss Rebekah Brooks and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, were originally bailed until March, but have had their bails extended to unspecified dates in late April or May, it said.


Twitter: @georgszalai