Rebekah Brooks’ Longtime Assistant Arrested in Hacking Investigation

6:48 AM PST 01/06/2012 by Mimi Turner
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A number of reports claim Cheryl Carter is being investigated for deleting key emails, although police have not confirmed this.

LONDON – Cheryl Carter, the long-time personal assistant to Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, is understood to be the latest person to have been arrested in the ongoing investigation into phone-hacking.

Police officers from the Metropolitan Police-led phone-hacking inquiry team, Operation Weeting, said they had arrested a 47-year old woman Friday morning on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the inquiry. The woman is understood to be Carter, who worked closely with Brooks for 19 years at News International, during the period when Brooks edited both the News of The World and The Sun. She also moved with Brooks when the former editor was promoted to chief executive of News International under James Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia.

Officers from the Inquiry are currently working through several hundred emails retrieved from News International servers, as part of the Inquiry.

A number of reports claim Carter is being investigated for deleting key emails, although police have not confirmed this. Carter left the company last year, shortly after Brooks also resigned. However, Brooks is understood to have a deal whereby, as part of her severance package, she still retains a central London office and chauffeur driven car.

“Officers from Operation Weeting have this morning arrested a 47-year old woman at an address in Essex,” police said in a statement Friday.

“The woman was arrested at approximately 06.55 on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice and she is currently in custody. She is the seventeenth person to be arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the investigation into phone-hacking.”

Brooks, who is thought to be vacationing in South Africa, was arrested and charged in July in relation to phone-hacking and police corruption investigations. She has been bailed until March and has denied committing any criminal offences.

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