Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI), publisher of the U.K.’s Daily Mirror tabloid, was caught up for the first time in Britain’s newspaper bribery scandal after one of its former reporters was arrested for corruption.
Greig Box Turnbull, 37, who left Trinity Mirror in March, was detained today, said Fergus Sheppard, a spokesman for the City of Westminster, where Turnbull has been a senior public- relations employee since April. The arrest is the first to involve a publisher other than News Corp.’s U.K. unit, where rampant bribery and phone hacking triggered parallel probes that have led to more than 50 arrests.
The Metropolitan Police Service said today it arrested a 37-year-old man at his home in Surrey on suspicion of conspiring to cause misconduct in a public office, without identifying him. Officers also detained a 46-year-old male prison worker at his home in London and a 50-year-old woman in Kent.
The probe, known as Operation Elveden, is running parallel to investigations into phone hacking and computer hacking by reporters and editors at News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid and its Sun newspaper, Britain’s best-selling daily title. The bribery arrests have focused on the Sun.
Nick Fullagar, a spokesman for London-based Trinity Mirror, said police hadn’t been in touch with the company regarding the probe or today’s arrest. Turnbull was a general news reporter there until March, when he took a “voluntary redundancy,” Fullagar said.
Turnbull has been on loan to Richmond Borough Council, another London neighborhood, said Sheppard, of the City of Westminster, which encompasses Buckingham Palace and Parliament.
The Richmond Borough said Turnbull no longer worked there. A number for Turnbull couldn’t be found on the Internet and police said all three suspects remained in custody.
“We are obviously aware of the police action, but we have yet to speak to the employee involved,” said Sheppard. “In the light of that and the possibility of further legal action it would clearly be inappropriate to comment further.”
The Telegraph newspaper reported Turnbull’s arrest earlier today.
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