Woman held over 'police bribery' in UK hacking probe

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police investigating the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World arrested a 37-year-old woman Thursday on suspicion of paying police for information, Scotland Yard said.

London's Metropolitan Police detained the woman at 0615 GMT "on suspicion of committing offences involving making payments to police officers for information," it said in a statement.

"She was arrested at a residential address in Surrey (southwest of London) and has been taken to a south London police station where she remains in custody."

The force refused to identify her but a police source said she was not a police officer.

She is the seventh person to be arrested as part of an investigation into alleged bribery of police, called Operation Elveden, which was set up alongside a probe into allegations of phone hacking, Operation Weeting.

Police have arrested a string of people on suspicion of illegally accessing mobile phone voicemails, including Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor and ex-communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron.

One person has also been detained as part of a police probe into alleged computer hacking, Operation Tuleta.

Australian-born mogul Murdoch closed the News of the World in July after claims that phone hacking at Britain's top-selling weekly was widespread.

Its publisher, News International, insisted for a long time that the practice was limited to one "rogue reporter" -- royal editor Clive Goodman who was jailed alongside private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2007 for hacking.

But it has been forced to admit the practice went wider.

Police said at the weekend the final number of phone-hacking victims will be around 800, based largely on names found in Mulcaire's notes.

© 2011 AFP

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