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News International CEO Reassures 'Sun' Staff After Latest Arrests

Tom Mockridge
Newscom

Tom Mockridge addressed frustration with parent company News Corp.'s continued cooperation with London police in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

News International CEO Tom Mockridge looked to boost the morale of staff at News Corp.'s tabloid The Sun late this week amid a mounting number of arrests in the context of probes into improper and possibly criminal behavior in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

The Guardian reported that Mockridge, seen by observers as a possible leader of the News Corp. publishing business once the conglomerate splits into two companies, gathered staff Thursday afternoon following the 21st arrest of a Sun journalist by London police.

The arrest was part of what is known here as Operation Tuleta, a probe into computer hacking and criminal breaches of privacy launched in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

Other recent arrests have come under Operation Elveden, a probe into alleged inappropriate payments by reporters to public servants, including police officers.

All Sun staffers arrested since late last year have been bailed, but employee morale has been affected.

Mockridge told the tabloid's staff that he could provide "no date" for when arrests, many of which have come based on information provided by News Corp.'s management and standards committee, would end.

Amid some staffers' frustrations about News Corp.'s collaboration with police, Mockridge also emphasized that it was up to News Corp., not News International, to decide when to end that co-operation, the Guardian said. When News Corp. decided to work with authorities, "there was no expectation we would still be in this process this much further down the line," it quoted him as saying.

Mockridge reiterated that the News Corp. committee's internal probe was finished, but the company was continuing to co-operate with police when requested.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai