UK newspaper staff arrested

2012-02-11 14:18

London - Five staff at Britain's largest selling tabloid The Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three other people over alleged bribes paid to police and defence officials, detectives and the newspaper's parent company said.

News Corp said in a statement that police had searched the homes and offices of the five members of staff at the tabloid, long regarded regarded as the jewel in the crown of Rupert Murdoch's British media empire.

A serving police officer, a female employee at the Ministry of Defence and a 36-year-old member of the armed forces were also arrested in an early morning swoop.

London's Metropolitan Police said all eight people are being questioned, and confirmed they were detained following information provided to detectives by the management standards committee of News Corp.

The committee "will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege," News Corp said in a statement.

Police said their investigation relates to alleged corrupt payments made to police officers and other officials by journalists. It is part of a series of police investigations sparked by Britain's tabloid phone hacking scandal.