and of making illegal payments to a serving member of the US armed forces, a part of which was paid in the US, the balance apparently paid by arrangement in the UK.
Down the orange rabbit hole........
Chris Bryant MP used the protection of Parliamentary Privilege to launch a broadside at News International this evening. Our own Brit already has an article up in the Daily Beast
In an explosive intervention during a British House of Commons debate about the Leveson proposals for press reform, the campaigning Labour MP, Chris Bryant, added more details of the allegations first broached by the Daily Beast two weeks ago that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. paid U.S. service personnel for photos of Saddam Hussein in his underpants while the former Iraqi dictator was being held American custody in the mid-2000s. Bryant suggested there were “worrying developments” that News Corp. was no longer co-operating with police inquiries. “I urge the [News Corp. Management and Standards Committee] to provide all the emails from Rupert and James Murdoch to News International staff as a matter of urgency…in particular to the photo of Saddam. Otherwise, people will conclude in this country that News International is still refusing to cooperate with the police.”
Sources close to the story told the Daily Beast that a British bank account was allegedly set up in the name of the U.S. official, but using the home address of a staff member at the Sun. The figure deposited into this account is alleged to have been in excess of a $100,000. It is also alleged a senior editor at the Sun cleared publication of the Saddam photos in advance with both British and U.S. intelligence services, apparently without the White House’s consent.Brit's article is to his usual high standard and I urge you to read all the goodliness at the link.
The MP said he had information from "two well-placed people inside News International" that the newspapers paid "a substantial sum to a serving member of the United States armed forces in the United States of America for a photograph of Saddam Hussein". He added that "a much larger amount was then paid via a specially set up account in the United Kingdom" to the same source.The Independent has a good take
A laptop containing the photograph was “later destroyed,” the Labour front-bencher claimed. Mr Bryant told MPs that Rupert Murdoch and his son James could eventually face corporate charges over the phone hacking scandal.
Scotland Yard is understood to be liaising with the FBI over the alleged acquisition of the picture of Hussein, taken in 2005.
Mr Bryant said: “It smacks of the plimsoll strategy, whereby senior management at News International and News Corp, as soon as the water started lapping a little bit higher chucked somebody else overboard, a newspaper, an editor.
“They provided the material about some of their journalists as long as they could make sure the ship still floated and the proprietors feet didn’t get wet.”
Bryant asked for News Corporation's powerful management and standards committee, which has investigated alleged corrupt payments to public officials, to "provide all the emails from Rupert Murdoch to News International staff as a matter of urgency that relate to this matter and, in particular, to the photo of Saddam Hussein".The net closes in.
4:44 PM PT: Link to another great article by Brit in todays Daily Beast
The incredible shrinking News Corp.
"Mockridge’s departure and his replacement suggest that the role of CEO of News International, once one of the most powerful positions in the publishing world, has become a much reduced role, if not a poisoned chalice."