Tags: Police | Arrest | news | Hacking

Senior Figure Held in News Corp. Hacking Probe

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 11:04 AM

British police arrested a former senior figure at Rupert Murdoch's News International group on Tuesday, the latest high-profile case by detectives investigating the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid.

Police said a 71-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications after he arrived by appointment at a north London police station. A source with knowledge of the matter said the man was Stuart Kuttner, a former managing editor of the News of the World.

There was no immediate comment from News International, the British newspaper arm of News Corp.

Kuttner's arrest will keep up the growing pressure on Rupert Murdoch's son James, News International's chairman.

Lawmakers have already indicated they want to recall James Murdoch, News Corp's heir apparent, to clarify evidence he provided to a parliamentary committee about a large payment made to one of the phone-hacking victims.

Kuttner's office was responsible for authorizing payments from the paper.

The arrest was made by detectives probing allegations that journalists and private investigators illegally intercepted voicemail messages on mobile phones of people ranging from celebrities and politicians to murder victims and the families of dead soldiers to find out gossip for stories.

They are also looking into claims some reporters paid bribes to police officers in return for information.

In 2007, the tabloid's royal reporter Clive Goodman and a private detective were jailed for hacking the phones of aides to Britain's royal family.

"ROGUE"

News International had said the practice was limited to one "rogue reporter" but handed over new evidence to police in the wake of legal action from a number of victims.

Kuttner is the 11th person to be arrested since detectives reopened their investigation in January.

His role at the News of the World until he stood down in 2009 was to handle the budget for the paper and authorize payments for staff and specific stories.

Lawmakers have been told that his office would have been responsible for any payments to private detectives.

A flood of revelations in the last month has generated a furor that has shaken Murdoch's media empire, as well as Britain's press, police and political leaders and forced a series of high profile resignations.

The 168-year-old News of the World was closed last month after allegations that 4,000 phones, including that of a murdered schoolgirl, had been hacked.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World, also quit and was arrested by detectives probing the hacking and corruption allegations last month.

London's police chief Paul Stephenson and Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer John Yates have also resigned over criticism the police should have done more to investigate the hacking allegations.

The uproar has also caused embarrassment for Prime Minister David Cameron as his former media chief Andy Coulson has also been arrested.

He was editor of the News of the World until he quit in 2007 when Goodman was jailed.

Detectives have also arrested Coulson's former deputy at the paper, Neil Wallis, the paper's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, one of its senior reporters James Weatherup, and Ian Edmondson, a former senior editor who was sacked after an internal inquiry into his conduct.

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British police arrested a former senior figure at Rupert Murdoch's News International group on Tuesday, the latest high-profile case by detectives investigating the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid. Police said a 71-year-old man had been arrested on...
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2011-04-02
Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 11:04 AM
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