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Police make another arrest in UK phone-hacking inquiry

By the CNN Wire Staff
A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to unlawfully intercept voice mails.
A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to unlawfully intercept voice mails.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 38-year-old man arrested Thursday is released on bail
  • News International says former showbiz reporter was arrested
  • Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire is taking legal action against News International
  • 13 people are being investigated in connection with phone-hacking and corruption claims

London (CNN) -- A 38-year-old man was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of conspiring to unlawfully intercept voicemails, police in London said.

It was the latest of several arrests connected to allegations of illegal phone hacking by staff at the News of the World newspaper, which was run by News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The Metropolitan Police have not disclosed the name of the suspect, but News International says he is James Desborough. Later Thursday, he was released on bail until the fall.

A former showbiz reporter and U.S. editor for News of the World, Desborough won showbiz reporter of the year in the 2009 British Press Awards. The judges commented that he "produced a series of uncompromising scoops which mean no celebrity with secrets can sleep easy."

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A News International spokeswoman said in a statement that the company is "fully cooperating with the police investigation and we are unable to comment further on matters due to ongoing police investigations."

Separately, News International confirmed that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for News of the World for several years before he was jailed in 2007 for intercepting royal voicemail, was taking legal action against the company.

"The claim will be vigorously contested," a News International representative said in a statement.

When police arrested Mulcaire in 2006, they seized 11,000 pages of documents with the names of 3,870 potential victims of illegal eavesdropping.

Mulcaire released a statement through his lawyers last month in which he suggested that he did not bear sole responsibility for any wrongdoing.

"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."

News of the World, the country's best-selling Sunday paper, was closed last month amid the phone-hacking scandal, which has also prompted the resignations of senior News Corp. executives and police officers.

Thirteen people are being investigated by police over claims that staff members at the paper hacked the phones of people ranging from celebrities to crime victims and allegations of bribery of police officers.

Those arrested include former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman before resigning this year, and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Both have been released on bail.

Eleven arrests have been made in connection with Operation Weeting, into phone hacking, and five in connection with Operation Elveden, related to police corruption, police said. Two of those arrested have been detained in connection with both inquiries, and one person has been released and faces no further investigation, a police spokesman said.

A Parliament committee also investigating the phone-hacking allegations released dozens of documents this week related to its inquiry, which reignited questions over an alleged cover-up of misconduct at News of the World.

Among the documents was a letter written in 2007 by Clive Goodman, the former royal correspondent for the paper who was jailed and fired for intercepting voicemail, in which he said the practice was "widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor."

The editor at that time was Coulson, who resigned from that post on the day Goodman was jailed. He denies knowing about wrongdoing while he was in charge.

Executives at News International have argued that illegal activities were not widespread at News of the World.

CNN's Carol Jordan and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

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