Police detain six over UK hacking scandal

Ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks rearrested as more are held on suspicion of conspiring to pervert justice.


    Police in the UK have arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and close confidante of Rupert Murdoch, for a second time in the latest round of detentions in Britain's phone-hacking scandal.

    Police officials confirmed on Tuesday they had detained five men and one woman in dawn raids across the country on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, with the woman described as 43 years old and living in Oxfordshire.

    Brooks, a central figure in the phone hacking scandal, is 43 years old and lives in Oxfordshire. Sky News, which is part owned by Murdoch's media group, said her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, had also been detained.

    Al Jazeera’s Lawrence Lee, reporting from London, said her arrest this time is more significant in terms of allegations against her.

    Listening Post: Rupert Murdoch's Watergate

    “She hasn’t been changed by the police yet. Last year she was arrested over bribes to the police, but this morning, police turned up at her home, knocked on the door, and arrested her and her husband.

    “She is allegedly being questioned over conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The idea now the police is trying to pursue is that there were far more people that knew of the industrial scale of the phone hacking."

    The long-running saga has shaken News Corp, Murdoch's media empire which owns the now-defunct News of the World Sunday tabloid at the centre of the investigations. It has also damaged police and politicians from all major political parties, revealing extremely close ties between the media and the upper elements of the establishment.

    The 168-year-old News of the World was shut down in July at the height of the hacking scandal, while two of Britain's most senior police officers quit their posts after being accused of failing to properly investigate the allegations.

    The latest arrests could also bring further embarrassment to Prime Minister David Cameron, who finally admitted earlier this month that he had ridden a horse given to the high-profile Brooks couple by the police, in an episode dubbed "horsegate" by rival press.

    Cameron, who has sought to distance himself from a wealthy background seen as an electoral weakness, said that he had been friends with Charlie Brooks for over 30 years.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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