By Marcus Leach
A spokeswomen has revealed that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are giving 'full consideration' to calls for an investigation into News Corporation.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been rocked to the core amidst allegations of phone-hacking, resulting in the closure of the News of the World newspaper and several high-profile arrests and resignations.
And now, ahead of Tuesday's media committee, where Mr Murdoch, his son James and former editor of the News of the World Rebekah Brooks will answer MP's questions, there is potentially further trouble brewing.
Labour MP Tom Watson has asked the SFO to investigate out of court settlements between the News of the World and several victims of the alleged phone-hacking.
The SFO, which is charged with investigating and prosecuting the most serious cases of fraud and corruption, has confirmed they had received a letter of request from Mr Watson and are now considering the request.
Channel 4 News reported that Mt Watson wrote to the SFO asking for a full investigation into the possibility of breaches of company law by News Corp's UK newspapers division, News International, over payments to the victims of the original phone-hacking scandal that came to light in 2006.
"The SFO can confirm it has received a letter from Tom Watson MP calling on the SFO to investigate certain allegations relating to News Corp," a spokeswomen said.
"The SFO director, Richard Alderman, will give full consideration to Mr Watson's letter.
"The SFO is aware that the Metropolitan Police Service is conducting an investigation into alleged improper payments to police officers.
"The SFO is routinely in contact with the US authorities and is ready to assist them if they open an investigation in their jurisdiction into News Corp-related matters."
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