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News Corp.: We Did Not Admit Guilt in Wiretapping Settlements

Free Press was using News Corp.'s announced settlement of claims against News International's (NI) News Group Newspapers (NGN) for allegations of wiretapping to push the FBI investigation into News Corp.'s U.S. operations, but News Corp. suggested that was off base.

Free Press cited News Corp.'s admission of guilt, but News Corp. said that was not the case. While a spokesperson for News Corp. declined to comment on the issue of any U.S. investigations, News International put out a statement saying it had not, in fact, admitted anything.

"Today NGN agreed settlements in respect of a number of claims against the company," said NI in a statement. "NGN made no admission as part of these settlements that directors or senior employees knew about the wrongdoing by NGN or sought to conceal it. However, for the purpose of reaching these settlements only, NGN agreed that the damages to be paid to claimants should be assessed as if this was the case."

But Free Press senior director of strategy Tim Karr saw it differently. "The phone-hacking settlement amounts to an admission of guilt by News Corp. executives," he said in a statement, "and should compel the FBI and Department of Justice to accelerate investigations into alleged illegal acts by the company here in the U.S."