Rebekah Brooks arrested in phone-hacking scandal: reports

17th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police on Sunday arrested the former head of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper wing, Rebekah Brooks, over the phone hacking scandal, British media reported.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that a 43-year-old woman had been arrested over allegations of phone hacking and corruption. They would not confirm it was Brooks, 43, and there was no immediate comment from News International.

Sky News, which is part of Murdoch's British media empire, and the BBC both reported it was Brooks, who resigned as head of News International on Friday.

"The MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) has this afternoon, Sunday 17 July, arrested a female in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

"At approximately 12.00 hrs a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting together with officers from Operation Elveden. She is currently in custody."

Operation Weeting is investigation that the force reopened into hacking in January. Operation Elveden is a separate probe looking at payments by the News of the World to police officers in return for information.

"She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906," the statement added.

Those arrested so far over the scandal include Prime Minister David Cameron's former communciations chief and one-time News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

Coulson's deputy, Neil Wallis, was arrested last Thursday.

Scotland Yard has since faced questions over why it hired Wallis, who went on to become the paper's executive editor, as an advisor two months after he quit the tabloid in 2009.

The force's chief, Paul Stephenson, was also linked to Wallis in reports Sunday which said Stephenson accepted a five-week stay earlier this year at a luxury health spa where Wallis worked as a PR consultant.

A police spokesman strongly denied any wrongdoing, saying Stephenson's meals and accommodation were provided by the spa's managing director, a personal friend, while he was recovering from a serious operation.

In April police arrested News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and former assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson.

© 2011 AFP

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