NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Families of 9/11 victims are heading to Washington to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder about allegations surrounding Britain’s phone hacking scandal.
The families are meeting with Holder about the FBI inquiry into the allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire may have tried to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims.
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The claim comes from an article published in The Daily Mirror, a London tabloid and rival paper to Murdoch’s The Sun.
In the article, an unidentified former NYPD officer turned private investigator, said he was contacted by News of the World journalists who offered to pay him to retrieve private phone records of Sept. 11 victims.
“We are going to the meeting with the attorney general to listen to what he can tell us about the investigation and to ascertain the scope, the goals and timetable of the inquiry,” said Norman Siegel, an attorney who has represented some of the families for eight years.
New York-based News Corp. has said “we have not seen any evidence to suggest there was any hacking of 9/11 victims’ phones, nor has anybody corroborated what are clearly very serious allegations.”
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Retired New York Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches was among family members from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut taking a train from Manhattan to Washington on Wednesday to attend the meeting with Holder.
Riches said federal investigators “have permission to investigate my cell lines, my family’s, whatever they need.”
“We just want some information, whether these allegations are actually true or not true,” said Riches. “We feel we deserve to know.”
Riches said about six months after his son’s body was found, the family received calls telling them that more remains had been located.
“I received many phone calls after 9/11 concerning body parts of my son,” said Riches. “These are things that people don’t realize 9/11 families had to go through and I’d hate to know that someone was listening to these phone calls.”
The FBI began its investigation in July after Long Island Rep. Peter King demanded action.
“I want them to investigate and investigate fully. I have a lot of 9/11 families in my district. They’re entitled to know if their privacy was violated,” King said.
Siegel said Wednesday that 9/11 families want to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department.
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