In his meeting yesterday with the 9/11 victims' families, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told them that there was “no proof yet” that their relatives’ phones had been hacked by News of the World reporters, reports Politico.
A Justice official told Politico that Holder let the families know that the department is taking the investigation seriously and views the allegations as “disturbing.”
According to retired New York firefighter Jim Riches, whose son died at the World Trade Center, the families were informed that agents in D.C. and New York had been assigned to the case, and Holder said that he is being briefed daily on the investigation. But Holder also told them that “there is no timeline” for the investigation and he couldn’t go into great detail about it.
“They said if anyone is held accountable, corporations can be fined, and the people who should have known or who did the hacking could be put in jail,” Riches said.
Riches and the other families offered to provide old phone numbers and other data to help the investigation, but Justice officials said they declined the offer for now.
“I said, ‘Well since you’re not taking them, how am I supposed to believe you are investigating this? Are you just bullshitting me or are you seriously investigating?’” Riches told Politico. “They said they’re first looking at the hackers on the other side and that if they have to, they’ll then contact us.”
Still, Riches said, Holder and the investigators “seemed to be sincere,” adding, “I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.”