UK journalists accused of phone hacking

A
News of the World reporter and an ex-news editor have been arrested by police
investigating allegations of phone hacking.

Chief
reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and former news editor Ian Edmondson, 42, are
suspected of having unlawfully intercepted voicemail messages.

The
News of the World’s owner said it was co-operating “fully” with police.

Scotland
Yard said the arrested pair were also being held on suspicion of conspiring to
intercept communications.

Mr
Edmondson was sacked by the News of the World in January after evidence emerged
linking him to hacking claims.

In
a statement the newspaper’s owner, News International, said it had voluntarily
approached the Metropolitan Police in January and provided information
“that led to the opening of the current police investigation”.

“News
International terminated the employment of the assistant editor (news) of the
News of the World at the same time.

News
International has consistently reiterated that it will not tolerate wrong-doing
and is committed to acting on evidence,” it said.

The
latest arrests are the first since the Met Police reopened its inquiry – known
as Operation Weeting – into claims that staff at the Sunday tabloid had hacked
into the phone messages of celebrities, politicians, and royals.

In
2007, the first police investigation into phone hacking led to the convictions
and imprisonment of then News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and
private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was employed by the paper.

Four
alleged victims have reached out-of-court settlements with the newspaper,
including celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who received a reported £1m.

Fourteen
people, including football agent Sky Andrew, comedian Steve Coogan and sports
commentator Andy Gray, are now suing News International.

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