Ex-cop held in UK phone-hacking inquiry

2012-05-03 14:13

London - British detectives arrested a former police special operations officer as part of an investigation into phone-hacking and bribery at Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, Scotland Yard said on Thursday.

The unnamed 57-year-old man was arrested in a dawn raid at his house in Surrey, southwest of London, on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the force said in a statement.

He previously served in the Metropolitan Police's specialist operations command and retired several years ago, it said.

The arrest was made as a result of information provided by the Management Standards Committee of Murdoch's US-based News Corporation, a panel set up by Murdoch to probe illegal activity at his British newspapers, it added.

"It relates to suspected payments to a former police officer and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately," the statement said.

"He is currently being questioned at a southwest London police station and his home address is being searched."

More than 40 arrests


Scotland Yard's special operations command covers a range of roles including counter-terrorism, organised crime, firearms and royal and diplomatic protection.

A spokesperson declined to confirm which section the arrested man had worked in.

The arrest was made by officers from Operation Elveden, a Scotland Yard investigation probing allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

It is being run in tandem with Operation Weeting, the original investigation launched in January 2011 into phone-hacking at the News of the World newspaper.

Police have arrested more than 40 current and former journalists, police officers and public officials as part of the twin investigations.

The arrests have recently included several staff from The Sun, Murdoch's top-selling British daily tabloid.

Misleading

A British parliamentary committee on Tuesday said in a report that Murdoch was not a fit person to lead an international company, although the cross-party panel was split on the decision.

It also charged the company with misleading lawmakers and said Murdoch and his son James should take responsibility.

The board of News Corporation declared "full confidence" in Murdoch on Wednesday, citing his "vision and leadership" and "his demonstrated resolve to address the mistakes" identified in the report.

Murdoch shut the News of the World in July 2011 amid public outrage in Britain over the hacking of a murdered schoolgirl's voicemails.

Read more on:    news corporation  |  rupert murdoch  |  uk  |  uk hacking scandal  |  media
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