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Man arrested in UK phone-hacking probe

By the CNN Wire Staff
A gap where the News of the World's logo used to be outside News International's headquarters in east London.
A gap where the News of the World's logo used to be outside News International's headquarters in east London.
  • A 71-year-old man is the 11th person arrested over a phone hacking and bribery scandal
  • The man arrested is the former managing editor of the News of the World, Sky News says
  • His arrest is by police investigating alleged phone hacking and bribery by a British newspaper
  • The phone hacking claims have rocked the British media, police and political establishment

London (CNN) -- A 71-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into phone hacking, London's Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

The man, who has not been named, is being held on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept communications and corruption allegations, a police statement said.

The arrest is the latest to follow claims of phone hacking and bribery by staff at the now-defunct News of the World newspaper, which was run by News International, the British subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire.

The man held is believed to be Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of News of the World, according to UK broadcaster Sky News, which is also part of News Corp.

News International told CNN it had no comment to make over the arrest.

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The man was arrested by appointment at a north London police station on Tuesday morning by officers involved in probes into alleged phone hacking and illegal payments to police, known as Operations Weeting and Elveden respectively, the Metropolitan Police said.

The scandal has rocked the British public's trust in the media, the police and the political establishment and led to the resignation of executives at News International, the News of the World's parent company, and of senior police officers.

Eleven people have now been arrested in connection with the two investigations, with former News of the World editor Andy Coulson and former News International executive Rebekah Brooks among them.

All have been released on bail except the latest suspect arrested, the police said.

CNN Correspondent Dan Rivers says that Kuttner was very much the public face of News of the World over the years, so his arrest would be a significant step as police seek to uncover who knew what about alleged illegal practices at the paper.

Brooks, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son James, a senior News Corp. executive, were questioned by British lawmakers last month over what they knew about apparent misconduct by staff working for News International.

And Brooks and James Murdoch were on Friday asked by a Parliament committee to clarify some of the testimony they gave after questions were raised by former senior figures within News International.

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Journalists from News of the World stand accused of hacking into the voice mail of potentially thousands of people and of bribing police. This scandal led the company to shutter the paper, one of the best-selling in the English-speaking world, on July 10.

It also prompted two top police officers to resign and has put pressure on British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired Coulson to be his spokesman after he resigned from News of the World when two staff were convicted in a previous phone hacking inquiry. Coulson has denied knowledge of wrongdoing.

The ripples of the scandal have also spread to the United States, where News Corp. is based.

Last week, the company ordered its New York Post employees to "preserve and maintain" documents related to possible phone hacking or bribery of public officials.

In Britain, some 60 police officers are trawling through vast amounts of evidence, including notes seized from a private investigator employed for several years by News of the World, Glenn Mulcaire.

Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 after being convicted of intercepting royal voice mail. When police arrested him in 2006, they seized 11,000 pages of documents with the names of 3,870 potential victims of illegal eavesdropping.

A statement issued on his behalf Friday repeated his apology to those hurt by his actions -- and suggested he did not bear sole responsibility.

"As an employee, he acted on the instructions of others. There were also occasions when he understood his instructions were from those who genuinely wished to assist in solving crimes," the statement said. "Any suggestion that he acted in such matters unilaterally is untrue. In the light of the ongoing police investigation, we cannot say any more."

CNN's Dan Rivers contributed to this report.

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