As part of a preliminary investigation into the growing News Corp. phone-hacking scandal, the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing subpoenas of the media company relating to its alleged hacking of voicemail of Sept. 11 victims and foreign bribery, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Previously, the Justice Department had said it was looking into allegations that the now defunct News Corp. British newspaper, The News of the World, bribed British police, but the issuance of subpoenas has not yet been approved by senior officials of the Department, the report stated, citing a government official.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also begun an investigation into News Corp.'s alleged hacking of Sept. 11 victims' voicemails.
Concerning the FBI investigation, one News Corp. spokeswoman said, "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."
News Corp. officials expect the Justice Department's probe to look into whether alleged bribes paid to British police were in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that is used to charge companies that bribe foreign officials.
The company's legal team is also bracing for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Committee concerning a possible violation of the same act.
In an appearance before Parliament on Tuesday, Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, said she "never knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer."