British police investigating phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World tabloid said Wednesday they had arrested a 35-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages.

The man, who was not named, was arrested at his home shortly before 6am (0500 GMT) before being taken to a police station in north London, Scotland Yard said.

He is the 16th person arrested this year as part of the inquiry into phone hacking at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World, which was closed down in July after it emerged that a murdered girl was among those targeted.

The tabloid's royal editor and a private detective were jailed for hacking in 2007 but a flood of allegations suggesting that the practice was widespread prompted the police to reopen their investigation in January.

The scandal led to the resignation of two of Murdoch's top aides and two senior police officers, and also dragged in Prime Minister David Cameron after his ex-media chief, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, was arrested.