Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been arrested in connection with an investigation into phone hacking and bribery. The 43-year-old was arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police, known as Scotland Yard, around noon Sunday when she appeared by appointment at a London police station.? The claim against her was on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption allegations.
This is the 10th arrest made by the police investigating hacking allegations by the News of the World newspaper. Police have already arrested nine other people over allegations that the News of the World hacked into the phone voice mails of hundreds of celebrities, politicians, rival journalists and even murder victims. No one has yet been charged.
The latest arrest comes just two days before Brooks is due to answer questions from a parliamentary committee investigating the hacking. Rupert Murdoch and his son James are also due to give evidence.
Brooks was the newspaper?s editor between 2000 and 2003, during which some of the hacking incidents took place. However she has denied any knowledge of the hackings, a claim greeted with skepticism by many who worked there.
At an appearance before lawmakers in 2003, she admitted that News International had paid police for information. That admission of possible illegal activity went largely unchallenged and, at the time, little noticed.
Ms. Brooks is a longtime prot?g? of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch who had risen quickly through the tabloid ranks of News Corp.’s British newspaper operations. Mr. Murdoch defended her strongly in the days before her resignation.
On Friday, people close to the company said her resignation wasn’t tied to any new developments in the police investigation that were known to be coming. Instead, the company portrayed it as part of a broader damage-control campaign that it rolled out Friday and that also included the resignation of Dow Jones & Co. Chief Executive Les Hinton and several apologies from Mr. Murdoch.
Cameron under fire
The arrest also piles more pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron, a friend and neighbor of Brooks who has met with her many times and invited her to stay at his official country retreat.
He has now launched a judicial inquiry into the phone-hacking affair, which also includes allegations of corrupt payments to police by journalists.
?The British people are outraged that the Prime Minister has been friends with thugs and goons,? a British expat living in Dubai told Arabian Gazette.com
Rupert Murdoch has been courted for decades by Britain?s political elite as a kingmaker who could influence voters to shift left or right.
Meanwhile it has been reported that an apology letter by News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch will be carried in all national newspaper this weekend under the headline ?we are sorry?.?The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself? Murdoch wrote in the letter.
Well Murdoch has been going on a apology spree, which included, apologizing to the family of the murdered school girl Milly Dowler.
In a private meeting sought by the News Corporation chairman and chief executive, Mr Murdoch told Bob and Sally Dowler and their daughter Gemma that the News of the World’s hacking into Milly’s voicemail after she went missing in 2002 betrayed the values of his father, a pioneering journalist and editor, and his mother, the 102-year-old philanthropist.
“He said the word ‘sorry’, this should not have happened, this was not the standard set by his father, a respected journalist, not the standard set by his mother,” Mark Lewis, the Dowlers’ lawyer, said after the meeting late on Saturday (AEST).
“He apologized many times and held his head in his hands. He was very humble. He was very shaken and sincere.”
Mr Murdoch’s apology to the Dowlers was part of a striking change of tone at the weekend from the head of News Corporation – ultimate owner of The Australian – including carefully planned shows of humility and a willingness to accept responsibility for any misdeeds.
Well it seems the media mogul is starting to prepare for his hearing at the House of Commons committee tomorrow.
Murdoch?s lieutenant has been under the scanner since the hacking scandal was revealed wonder how many would fall victims to the scandal.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, GoogleNews, The Australian