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Police arrest former Murdoch executive

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, July 14, 2011 8:01 EDT
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LONDON — Police on Thursday arrested another former News of the World executive in connection with the phone hacking scandal at the tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, police and reports said.

Several British media outlets identified the arrested man as Neil Wallis, 60, the former executive editor and deputy editor of the News of the World, who left the paper in 2009.

Scotland Yard would not confirm his identity but said a 60-year-old man was arrested by officers at a residential address in London early on Thursday “on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications”.

He was in custody at a west London police station, it said in a statement.

A spokesman at London-based public relations company Outside Organisation, where Wallis is managing director, could not confirm the reports.

“We don’t know actually know anything for sure,” the spokeswoman told AFP, without elaborating.

Murdoch shut the News of the World last week amid public outrage over allegations that Britain’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper hacked the phones of a teenage murder victim and the families of dead soldiers.

Wallis was deputy editor at the 168-year-old title from 2003 to 2007 under editor Andy Coulson. Coulson quit the paper in 2007 after its royal reporter and a private investigator were jailed for hacking mobile phone voicemails.

Wallis went on to become executive editor at the paper and left two years ago.

Before his spell at the News of the World he was editor of The People, another British Sunday tabloid.

Coulson, who went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s media chief before quitting that job in January, was arrested on Friday in connection with the scandal.

Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, one of the men who was initially jailed for phone hacking, was also arrested on Friday.

Both were later released on bail.

In April police arrested News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 50, and former assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson.

Cameron told parliament on Wednesday there had been eight arrests so far in the scandal, which has derailed Murdoch’s takeover bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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