British police arrest 5 in tabloid bribery probe

Jan 29, 2012 By JILL LAWLESS , Associated Press
A news camera films the offices of News International company headquarters in London, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. British police on Saturday arrested four people, including a police officer, on suspicion of corruption as part of an ongoing investigation into police bribery by the now defunct News of the World tabloid newspaper, and the police said the arrests were made as a result of information provided by Murdoch's News Corp., and officers were searching the east London headquarters of the media mogul's British newspapers for evidence. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(AP) -- The criminal investigation into British tabloid skullduggery turned full force on a second Rupert Murdoch publication Saturday, with the arrest of four current and former journalists from The Sun on suspicion of bribing police.

A serving police officer was also held, and authorities searched the newspaper's offices as part an investigation into illegal payments for information.

The arrests spread the scandal over tabloid wrongdoing - which has already shut down one Murdoch paper, the News of the World - to Britain's best-selling newspaper.

London police said two men aged 48 and one aged 56 were arrested on suspicion of corruption early in the morning at homes in and around London. A 42-year-old man was detained later at a London police station.

Murdoch's News Corp. confirmed that all four were current or former Sun employees. The BBC and other British media identified them as former managing editor Graham Dudman, former deputy editor Fergus Shanahan, current head of news Chris Pharo and crime editor Mike Sullivan.

A fifth man, a 29-year-old police officer, was arrested at the London station where he works.

Officers searched the men's homes and the east London headquarters of the media mogul's British newspapers for evidence.

The investigation into whether reporters illegally paid police for information is running parallel to a police inquiry into by Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World.

Police said Saturday's arrests were made based on information provided by the Management and Standards Committee of Murdoch's News Corp., the internal body tasked with rooting out wrongdoing.

News Corp. said it was cooperating with police.

" made a commitment last summer that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past would not be repeated," it said in a statement.

In an email to staff after the arrests, Tom Mockridge - chief executive of Murdoch's British operation, News International - said the internal investigation into wrongdoing at The Sun "is well advanced."

"News International is confronting past mistakes and is making fundamental changes about how we operate which are essential for our business," Mockridge said.

"Despite this very difficult news, we are determined that News International will emerge a stronger and more trusted organization," he added.

Thirteen people have now been arrested in the bribery probe, though none has yet been charged. They include Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of Murdoch's News International; ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson - who is also Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications chief; and journalists from the News of the World and The Sun.

Two of the London police force's top officers resigned in the wake of the revelation last July that the News of the World had eavesdropped on the cell phone voicemail messages of celebrities, athletes, politicians and even an abducted teenager in its quest for stories.

Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old tabloid amid a wave of public revulsion, and the scandal has triggered a continuing public inquiry into media ethics and the relationship between the press, police and politicians.

An earlier police investigation failed to find evidence that hacking went beyond one reporter and a private investigator, who were both jailed in 2007 for eavesdropping on the phones of royal staff.

But News Corp. has now acknowledged it was much more widespread.

Last week the company agreed to pay damages to 37 hacking victims, including actor Jude Law, soccer star Ashley Cole and British politician John Prescott.

The furor that consumed the News of the World continues to rattle other parts of Murdoch's media empire.

As well as investigating phone hacking and allegations that journalists paid for information, detectives are looking into claims of computer hacking by Murdoch papers.

News Corp. has admitted that the News of the World hacked the emails as well as the phone of Chris Shipman, the son of serial killer Harold Shipman. And The Times of London has acknowledged that a former reporter tried to intercept emails to unmask an anonymous blogger.

. is preparing to launch a new Sunday newspaper - likely called the Sunday Sun - to replace the of the World.

Explore further: Researchers create global road maps showing potential economic and ecological consequences of new roads

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Murdochs summoned to testify in phone hack inquiry

Jul 14, 2011

(AP) -- British lawmakers say News International chief Rebekah Brooks has agreed to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking. Rupert and James Murdoch have been issued a summons ...

Dow Jones editor reminds reporters of ethics code

Jul 23, 2011

Dow Jones editor-in-chief Robert Thomson, the American flagship of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, has reminded journalists that they must follow a code of ethics in a memo to all staff.

New arrest in UK phone hacking scandal

Jun 27, 2011

(AP) -- Britain's Press Association news agency said Monday one of its reporters was arrested by detectives investigating a widening phone hacking scandal.

Wall Street Journal attacks News Corp. critics

Jul 18, 2011

The News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal blasted critics Monday for double standards and insisted that the phone-tapping scandal in Britain should not tarnish all of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

UK's Cameron calls for new regulation of press

Jul 08, 2011

(AP) -- Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday promised a full investigation into the phone hacking and the police bribery that lead to the collapse of the News of the World tabloid, saying that British politicians ...

Britain shocked by hacking into slain girl's phone

Jul 05, 2011

(AP) -- Britain's long-running phone hacking scandal has taken a sickening twist, with claims that a tabloid newspaper hacked into the phone mail of an abducted teenage girl and may have hampered the police ...

Recommended for you

Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection

14 minutes ago

Some 40 scientists and technicians from around the world will descend on Jordan in November to take part in a simulated on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear test site on the banks of the Dead Sea.

Alibaba IPO comes with unusual structure

16 minutes ago

Foreigners who want to buy Alibaba Group shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant's U.S. public offering will need to get comfortable with an unusual business structure.

DIY glove-based tutor indicates muscle-memory potential

20 hours ago

A senior editor at IEEE Spectrum worked on a DIY project that enabled his 11-year-old son to improve his touch typing by use of a vibrating glove. His son was already "pretty quick on the keyboard," said ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

_nigmatic10
not rated yet Jan 29, 2012
What? the media was only trying to replicate what is already done to their institutions by politicians. Nothing wrong here.... or everything wrong. however you wish to see it.
tarheelchief
not rated yet Jan 29, 2012
The biggest fear is the corruption of the police and worse,the court system.
There's no doubt several policemen,including those of the highest levels,were near to and supported by the media.They often needed media support in times when they produced little or no results.
The most damaging aspect of this involves the inability of most investigators to trace the source of money in offshore accounts which are immune from the Inland Revenue computers.