A Different Theory on Why Murdoch Shut Down Tabloid
It could help News Corp destroy evidence: Analyst
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 6:35 PM CDT
A 2009 file photo of James Murdoch, son of Rupert.   (AP Photo/David Cheskin/PA, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The Rupert Murdoch clan says it is closing News of the World because the phone hacking scandal "breached the trust" with the public. Maybe, but an expert on British media law smells a rat. Mark Stephens tells Reuters that the move could give News Corp the legal cover to destroy evidence. "If News of the World is to be liquidated, it is a stroke of genius—perhaps evil genius," says Stephens.

Under British law, the newspaper's records would be transferred to a liquidator, and—unlike in the US—authorities would not be able to prevent them from being destroyed. "Why would the liquidator want to keep [the records]?” Stephens asked. “Minimizing liability is the liquidator’s job.” The full Reuters post from legal writer Alison Frankel is here, or read the Atlantic's take on the theory here.