British police arrest ex-Murdoch paper executive

10th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police on Wednesday arrested a former news editor of the defunct News of the World on suspicion of phone hacking, the latest executive from the paper to face questioning over the scandal.

Greg Miskiw, 61, was arrested at a London police station, the 12th person detained over the phone-hacking controversy at the Rupert Murdoch-owned weekly.

"At approximately midday today a 61-year-old man was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting (the hacking probe) and is currently in custody," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

The man was arrested on suspicion of unlawful interception of communications and on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, police said.

A police source confirmed the man was Miskiw, who worked at the News of the World (NotW) under former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, who were both arrested last month on suspicion of phone hacking.

He left the paper in 2005 and had recently been living in Florida but said last month that he planned to return to Britain.

"Im returning to the UK voluntarily," he was quoted as saying by British media outside his flat in Delray Beach, Florida.

"My solicitors have been talking to the police for some time now."

Murdoch's News Corporation media empire has come under huge pressure from the phone-hacking scandal, which prompted the mogul's decision on July 7 to axe the NotW, which had been Britain's biggest-selling weekly.

The long-running scandal escalated into a crisis last month after claims the paper hacked the phone of a murdered teenager.

It has led to the resignations of Brooks as head of News International, Murdoch's British newspaper arm which used to publish the NotW, and his top US aide Les Hinton.

Another former executive, Coulson, had been working as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief until January, an appointment which has now become hugely embarrassing for the premier.

Police began investigating phone hacking in 2006, a probe which resulted in the jailing of the NotW's royal editor and a private investigator. Despite a steady stream of new claims, police did not reopen the probe until January.

© 2011 AFP

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