New York Post staffers told to preserve documents that may relate to phone hacking

New York Post staffers have been told to preserve any documents that may relate to phone hacking or payoffs to officials, as News Corp. prepares for a probe into its U.K. operations to reach across the Atlantic.

Post editor Col Allan sent a memo to staff Friday asking them to comply with the request from company lawyers.

Allan wrote that as the scandal at News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid unfolded in the U.K. “we knew that as a News Corporation tabloid, we would be looked at more closely.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to meet on Aug. 24 with some 9/11 family members about an FBI inquiry into allegations that News of the World journalists attempted to bribe a former New York City policeman to get phone records of Sept. 11 victims.

The FBI probe is in its preliminary stages and it is unclear if it will look at News Corp. properties beyond the U.K. tabloid.

A News Corp. spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Allan told Post employees that the request was made “in light of what has gone on in London at News of the World, and not because any recipient has done anything improper or unlawful.” In a separate communication, News Corp.’s lawyers told Post staffers that “given what has taken place in London, we believe that taking this step will help to underscore how seriously we are taking this matter.”

On Friday, the chair of the British parliamentary committee investigating the scandal said he was writing to News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer, James Murdoch, as well as two former employees to gain clarity on a dispute over Murdoch’s testimony last week.

The dispute centered on when Murdoch, the son of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, was made aware of an email that indicated the practice of intercepting voicemails was widespread at the News of the World, which the company closed two weeks ago. Murdoch said he wasn’t aware of the email until late 2010. But two former News Corp. employees dispute his claim.

Over the last few weeks, details emerged that indicated the phone-hacking was much more widespread than once thought, and targeted not only celebrities and politicians but also a 13-year-old murdered girl.

On Thursday, a charity co-founded by Sara Payne, the mother of an 8-year-old girl murdered by a pedophile in 2000, said that Payne was also a target of a private detective employed by the shuttered tabloid, who was jailed for the hacking in 2007.

News Corp. owns the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal in the U.S., the Sun and Sunday Times in the U.K., more than 140 papers in Australia, as well as Fox News Channel, TV stations and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.

  • Anonymous

    Who made the “allegations” about hacking of 9/11 victim’s messages? And who is the alleged hacker? As far as “allegations” that News of the World (UK) journalists attempted to bribe a former NY policeman to get phone records of 9/11 victims,” assuming the NY policeman didn’t accept the attempted bribe (and he’s the only one in that non-transaction with a public trust to peddle), if he didn’t arrest them — that would presumably be because there was no crime committed; but in any event, it would have had nothing to do with the US News Corp operations.

    Kudos to Mr. Murdoch for his decisive action on the UK paper. I doubt if the owners of the NY Times, Washington Post or any other radical rag would close shop — they’d just completely pass the buck!

    • Bobo Brazil

      @MerryJ1:disqus   “I doubt if the owners of the NY Times, Washington Post or any other
      radical rag would close shop — they’d just completely pass the buck!”


      British MP: “Aren’t you ultimately responsible, as chairman of media giant News Corp., for the phone-hacking scandal?”

      Rupert Murdoch: “Nope.”

      And that’s a direct quote.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with his “Nope,” Bobo. He was ultimately responsible, as Chairman of News Corp, to take remedial measures when confronted with proof of rogue activities by staffers of an operation under his corporate umbrella. He did that, in spades.

        But direct responsibility for the hacking or other bad actions falls on those in charge of the rogue operation – the editors and senior managers of that newspaper.

        Most moguls would likely fire a bunch of people, hire a new “senior management team” and/or sell the operation to preserve (his/her) own (corporate) bottom line. Murdoch didn’t just “reorganize” or sell the offending shop (to keep his own financial interests above the fray), he shut it down.

  • semihardrock

    WHEN can we “investigate” the DOJ for Project Gunrunner, Black Panther Voter Intimidation dismissal case, ACORN……


    Sounds like Salem, Mass. all over again, only a couple of centuries late. Any subsidiary of NewCorp is going to be guilty until proven innocent and by then, as with the accused witches, it will be too late.

  • bobmac

    Saul Alinsky would be proud of Obama and his socialist attorney general Eric Holder.They can’t wi an election on merits so they will slime the opposition.Freeze,target,attck.This loser president has to go.