News Corp. Confirms Four New Arrests as Police Raid London Newspaper Offices

Rupert Murdoch
Reuters/James Knowler/Landov

Although Murdoch was long believed to be committed to entrusting the empire to one of his children, he has not made it easy for them.

A statement from News Corp.'s Management Standards Committee said it had supplied police with the information that led to the arrests of “current and former” employees of The Sun.

LONDON – Four “current and former” employees of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper have been arrested as part of an ongoing corruption investigation, News Corporation said Saturday.

London’s Metropolitan Police have begun a search of News International’s London headquarters in Wapping, as well as the homes of those arrested.  A serving police officer has also been arrested as part of the same investigation.

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The arrests bring to more than twenty the number of former News International staff to have been arrested in relation to phone-hacking and bribing public officials. Until now the arrests have been almost entirely limited to former staff of the new-shuttered News of the World, but the addition of The Sun reporters suggests that wrongdoing in relation to bribery may have extended further than was originally thought.

Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of both The Sun and The News of the World was arrested last year on charges related to illegal voicemail interception, while her longtime personal assistant was also arrested earlier this month, reportedly on suspicion of having attempted to delete evidence.

All five arrested Saturday are being questioned at police stations in London and Essex on suspicion of corruption and misconduct charges.

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News Corporation stressed that it had co-operated fully with the police through the actions of the Management Standards Committee, its internal investigations group and had provided the police with information that led to the arrests.

“As a result of that review, which is ongoing, the MSC provided information to the Elveden investigation which led to today’s arrests,” News Corp. said in a statement.

“The Management Standards Committee gave the Metropolitan Police Service every assistance during the searches of News International premises while ensuring that all appropriate steps were taken to protect legal and journalistic privilege,” News Corp. added in a statement.

It declined to comment on the identities of those reporters arrested but said it had provided the option of immediate legal representation to those involved.

Unconfirmed social media reports have suggested that the four men arrested are a crime reporter, a former managing editor, a news reporter and a former deputy editor of the newspaper.

On Friday (Jan. 27), James Murdoch, who was formerly chief executive of News International, said he was stepping down as a non-executive director of pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithCline, while News Corp said its director of strategy and corporate affairs for international, Matthew Anderson, was stepping down. Anderson is widely regarded as James Murdoch's closest strategist.