Skip to main content

Murdoch insider Brooks arrested in hacking probe, police confirm

From Laura Perez Maestro and Bharati Naik, CNN
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
  • Police confirm Rebekah Brooks is among those arrested
  • Five of 6 journalists arrested Tuesday are granted bail, police say
  • The new arrest could mean Brooks faces additional charges in an ever-widening scandal
  • She had previously been arrested July 17

London (CNN) -- Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the British tabloid News of the World and a confidante of its owner, Rupert Murdoch, was arrested Tuesday in connection with a phone-hacking investigation, police said.

London's Metropolitan Police refused to name her, but said the woman arrested Tuesday had previously been arrested July 17, the date Brooks was arrested. She was the only one arrested in connection with phone hacking that day.

News International's head of security, Mark Hanna, was also arrested, according to an internal message sent to staff by the company's chief executive, Tom Mockridge, the Times newspaper reported. The Times is one of News International's titles.

Dozens of current and former employees of News International, the News Corp. subsidiary that publishes Murdoch's British newspapers, have been arrested on suspicion of bribing police or illegally intercepting voice mail or e-mail. No one has been charged.

Former Murdoch executive rearrested
Tension high at "The Sun" newspaper
Murdoch to meet with staff
Bernstein criticizes Murdoch's standards

Accusations of widespread phone hacking on behalf of News of the World prompted its publisher to fold the publication last July.

Brooks had previously been arrested in connection with phone hacking and police bribery, and was released on bail after a day of questioning.

She was among six people detained Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, police said.

She was also presumably one of the five people reported by Metropolitan Police as having been bailed out on Tuesday. She is "to return pending further inquiries to an Oxfordshire police station on a date in April," police said in a statement. Again, the police did not identify her by name, but did say a 43-year-old woman had been granted bail. Brooks is 43.

The sixth person, identified only as a 38-year-old man, remained in custody at a central London police station, police said.

The widening scandal has spawned three police investigations, two parliamentary committee investigations and an independent inquiry.

Brooks' husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, was also arrested Tuesday, according to reports in Murdoch outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Sky News. Charlie Brooks did not return a voice mail message from CNN on Tuesday.

He had been expected to attend the opening day of Britain's Cheltenham horse racing festival Tuesday but was not seen there.

Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World and the daily tabloid The Sun, served as chief executive of News International until she resigned days before her arrest in July.

Police investigating phone hacking say that about 5,800 people, including celebrities, crime victims, politicians and members of the British royal family, may have been targets of the practice by journalists.

The hacking involves illegally eavesdropping on voice mail by entering a personal identification number to access messages remotely.

CNN's Alysen Miller, Laura Smith-Spark and Antonia Mortensen contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:46 AM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
In the wake of the scandal, a high court judge has urged the government to order Britain's press to behave. What will the report mean?
The Leveson inquiry is a British government-backed inquiry into illegal eavesdropping and bribery by journalists. Read the final report by Lord Leveson.
updated 6:30 AM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
Could the phone-hacking scandal prove to be a blessing in disguise for Murdoch? He claimed to have been "humbled" by the scandal.
updated 11:40 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Months passed since some of the key players in the Leveson inquiry gave their statements. Here's a reminder of the best quotes.
Phone-hacking scandal revealed the dark side of tabloid journalism. Should it lead to a stricter press regulation? Share your views with CNN.
updated 7:34 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Revelations that murdered UK schoolgirl Milly Dowler 's phone was hacked sparked outrage. But who was the girl at the center of the scandal?
updated 7:22 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Jacqui Hames says she was a victim of surveillance by News of the World -- causing her stress that eventually led to the breakdown of her marriage.
updated 1:21 PM EST, Wed November 28, 2012
Media expert Brian Cathcart says Fleet St. has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its usual message: leave us alone.
updated 12:42 PM EST, Mon November 19, 2012
How did phone hacking grow into a scandal that threatened Rupert Murdoch's hold on his global media business? Track all the major events.
updated 6:38 AM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
Rebekah Brooks was once feted as one of the rising stars of the British media. Now she is at the center of the phone-hacking scandal.
updated 7:53 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch is the last of a dying breed: An old-fashioned press baron with ink running through his veins, a hefty checkbook, and a hunger for the next big story.
updated 6:33 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
James Murdoch, head of News Corp's European operations
James Murdoch was widely regarded as heir-apparent to his father global media empire. All that changed when the hacking scandal broke.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
On his Twitter feed Rupert Murdoch reveals a love of nature, a hatred of windfarms and a desire to put the boot into the UK government.