Police have arrested a former news editor of the defunct News of the World on suspicion of phone hacking, the latest executive from the paper to face questioning over the scandal.
Greg Miskiw, 61, was arrested at a London police station yesterday, a police source said, the 12th person detained in connection with the controversy at the Rupert Murdoch-owned weekly, which was axed last month.
He was this morning released on police bail until October.
Meanwhile Dick Fedorcio, head of press at London’s Metropolitan Police, took “a period of extended leave” while the police watchdog probes a misconduct allegation over a contract given to an ex-News of the World journalist.
A police source confirmed that Miskiw had been arrested on suspicion of unlawful interception of communications and on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.
“At approximately midday today a 61-year-old man was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting (the hacking probe) and is currently in custody,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.
He remained in custody late Wednesday.
Miskiw worked at the News of the World (NotW) under former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, who were both arrested last month on suspicion of phone hacking.
He left the paper in 2005 and had recently been living in Florida but said last month that he planned to return to Britain.
Scotland Yard confirmed Fedorcio had gone on leave as the police watchdog probes a claim of misconduct related to a contract London police gave to a PR firm owned by former News of the World executive Neil Wallis.
“To allow Mr Fedorcio to prepare for the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) investigation it has been agreed that he can work from home on a period of extended leave until the matter is resolved,” said a police statement.
Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire has come under huge pressure from the phone-hacking scandal, which prompted the mogul’s decision on July 7 to axe the NotW, which had been Britain’s biggest-selling weekly.
The long-running hacking scandal escalated into a crisis last month after claims the paper hacked the phone of a murdered teenager.
Police began investigating phone hacking in 2006, a probe which resulted in the jailing of the NotW’s royal editor and a private investigator. Despite a steady stream of new claims, police did not reopen the probe until January.