July 28, 2021

5 Are Arrested in British Tabloid Scandal

The arrests appeared to be an intensification of the police investigation into the role of The Sun, Britain’s highest circulation daily newspaper, in the illegal news-gathering techniques that prompted Mr. Murdoch, 80, last summer to close The Sun’s sister newspaper, the weekend News of the World.

Police investigations of wrongdoing at The News of the World, involving the illegal hacking of cellphone voice mail messages and the bribery of police officers for leaking confidential information, have led to the arrest of more than a dozen reporters, editors, executives and others who worked for that paper.

A statement issued by Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation in New York said the arrests on Saturday resulted from information provided to the police by the company’s Management and Standards Committee, which was charged by Mr. Murdoch last year with rooting out what the company called “unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals” at the newspapers of the company’s British subsidiary, News International.

The company’s cooperation with the police investigation was part of its commitment, the statement said, “to undertake a review of all News International titles, regardless of cost, and to proactively cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities if potentially relevant information arose at those titles.”

That review has run parallel to the company’s efforts to reach out-of-court settlements with politicians, celebrities and others who have been identified by the police as among at least 800 victims of illegal voice mail hacking. This month, Murdoch executives reached court-approved settlements amounting to nearly $1 million with 37 phone hacking victims, including Jude Law, the actor; Ashley Cole, the soccer star; and John Prescott, a former deputy prime minister.

The police said that three of the men arrested Saturday were taken from their homes in London and neighboring areas of Essex County for questioning on suspicion of conspiracy in actions involving “aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office,” the criminal offense commonly applied to cases of bribery of public officials. The fourth man was arrested when he appeared at an East London police station, the police statement said.

The police officer involved, a 29-year-old man serving in the territorial policing command of the Metropolitan Police, the formal name for Scotland Yard, was arrested while at work at a central London police station. He was the second serving officer to be arrested as part of the investigation, known as Operation Elveden, following the arrest last month of a 52-year-old female officer. In all of the arrests, the suspects were released on bail.

Scotland Yard and News Corporation did not identify the Sun journalists who were arrested on Saturday. But the BBC’s Web site said they were Graham Dudman, a former managing editor; Fergus Shanahan, a former deputy editor; Mike Sullivan, the paper’s crime editor; and Chris Pharo, the paper’s head of news. The arrests of the men brought to 13 the number of those arrested in the investigation into the bribery of police officers.

Ravi Somaiya contributed reporting from Paris.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/world/europe/5-are-arrested-in-british-tabloid-scandal.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Speak Your Mind