Bloomberg News

London Police Make 15th Arrest Over News Corp. Phone-Hacking

September 02, 2011

(Updates with Mulcaire suit in 10th paragraph.)

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- London police investigating phone hacking at News Corp.’s defunct News of the World tabloid said they arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voice-mail messages.

The man, who was also detained on suspicion of attempting to “pervert the course of justice,” is the 15th person arrested since the Metropolitan Police renewed a probe of the newspaper in January. The unidentified man voluntarily turned himself in at a north London police station and was later released on bail until January.

The police investigation, and revelations that the News of the World hacked the voice mail of a murdered school girl, led to News Corp.’s decision to close the tabloid and scrap a planned bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. Authorities are also probing whether police officers were paid for news and whether journalists hacked computers for stories.

Four former executives at News Corp.’s U.K. unit are scheduled to testify Sept. 6 before Parliament, including two men who challenged testimony given to lawmakers in July by James Murdoch, the company’s deputy chief operating officer, about details surrounding his knowledge of the scandal.

A spokeswoman for New York-based News Corp.’s U.K. unit declined to comment.

Brooks, Coulson

Previous arrests include former editors and journalists who worked at the newspaper when private detective Glenn Mulcaire was paid to hack into celebrities’ voice mails. Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner are among those that have been questioned by police this year.

A London police detective investigating the hacking was also arrested last month over claims he leaked information about the probe to the media. U.K. newspapers have on several occasions published details of phone-hacking arrests before public announcements were made.

The only person proved to have engaged in hacking with Mulcaire is Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royal reporter, who was jailed with the private eye in 2007. News Corp. was forced to abandon its claim the hacking was limited to the two men after evidence from civil lawsuits showed the practice was more widespread.

The names of other journalists who instructed Mulcaire to hack into voice mails were disclosed last week in a civil lawsuit against the private detective and News Corp.’s U.K. unit. The Metropolitan Police have applied to keep the names secret.

Mulcaire sued News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper unit last month claiming a breach of contract because the company stopped paying his legal bills.

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Simon Thiel

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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