UK police arrest Sun journalist in ‘stolen cellphone plot’
LONDON — British police arrested Tuesday a journalist from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun in relation to the alleged gathering of data from stolen mobile phones, police and News International said.
The 37-year-old man, bailed later on Tuesday, is the third journalist from Britain’s best-selling newspaper to have been arrested recently on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and the second such arrest in as many days.
Scotland Yard said in a statement that detectives arrested the man after he attended an east London police station by appointment on Tuesday.
The arrest “relates to a suspected conspiracy involving the gathering of data from stolen mobile phones,” and he was held on suspicion of handling stolen goods, it said.
A spokeswoman for News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch’s US-based News Corporation empire, told AFP the man was a Sun journalist but did not name him.
The man is the ninth person to be arrested by Operation Tuleta, a police probe into privacy breaches being carried out in tandem with inquiries into the phone-hacking scandal at The Sun’s sister paper the News of the World.
On Monday, Operation Tuleta police arrested a journalist named by British media as Nick Parker, The Sun’s chief foreign correspondent, on suspicion of handling stolen goods in relation to the conspiracy involving mobile phones.
Another Sun reporter, Rhodri Phillips, was arrested on July 19 over similar allegations.
Tuleta is one of three investigations sparked by the scandal at the News of the World, which Murdoch closed down in July 2011 when it emerged it had hacked the voicemails of hundreds of people including a murdered schoolgirl.
British police launched an investigation into hacking in January 2011.
They have also arrested 24 people under Operation Weeting, the core probe into voicemail hacking, and 41 under Operation Elveden, which is investigating corrupt payments.