New arrest in UK phone hacking probe

A day after Rebekah Brooks' arrest, a 51-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of intimidation of a witness

Story highlights

  • A 51-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of intimidation of a witness, London police say
  • He was previously arrested on suspicion of intercepting voice mail messages
  • His rearrest comes a day after that of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks
  • Police are investigating alleged misconduct by News International employees

A 51-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of intimidation of a witness in connection with an investigation into alleged phone hacking, London's Metropolitan Police said.

He is also suspected of encouraging or assisting an offense, the police statement said.

The man, who was not identified, was previously arrested on April 5 last year on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and unlawful interception of voice mail messages, the statement said.

He has been released on bail.

His arrest comes a day after that of Rebekah Brooks -- the former editor of the British tabloid News of the World and a confidante of its owner, Rupert Murdoch -- and five others on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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.

Explain it to me: UK tabloid scandal

    Just Watched

    Explain it to me: UK tabloid scandal

Explain it to me: UK tabloid scandal 03:36
PLAY VIDEO
Former Murdoch executive rearrested

    Just Watched

    Former Murdoch executive rearrested

Former Murdoch executive rearrested 03:06
PLAY VIDEO
Brooks rearrested in phone-hacking probe

    Just Watched

    Brooks rearrested in phone-hacking probe

Brooks rearrested in phone-hacking probe 02:48
PLAY VIDEO

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. She was released on bail Tuesday after a day of questioning.

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

Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Wednesday released a copy of a letter sent to it by James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son, who stepped down as chief executive of News International last month.

James Murdoch said he could have asked more questions of senior officers at the firm, but rejected the suggestion that his resignation as chief executive reflected unrevealed knowledge relating to the scandal.

"I take my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier," he wrote in the letter, dated March 12.

"However, I have not misled Parliament. I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing. I do not believe the evidence before you supports any other conclusion."

Murdoch said he had resigned in order to focus on developing News Corp.'s television businesses from the company's New York base.

He has twice been called to testify before the committee in London about what he may have known of misconduct by staff at News International.

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

      The hacking scandal

    • Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson arrives at the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey court in London on January 27, 2014.

      Britain's phone-hacking scandal has seen former tabloid editor Andy Coulson move from the newsroom into the full glare of its spotlight.
    • How did phone hacking grow into a scandal that threatened Rupert Murdoch's hold on his global media business? Track all the major events.
    • Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception during a visit to Centrepoint's Camberwell Foyer on December 21, 2011 in London, England. The national charity, Centrepoint, provides housing and support to improve the lives of homeless young people aged 16-25. (Photo by Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      The phone hacking trial revealed much about the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch's sex-and-scandal tabloids.
    • Rupert Murdoch (R) his wife Wendi Deng (C) and son Lachlan (L) leave their London home on April 26.

      Media expert Brian Cathcart says Fleet St. has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its usual message: leave us alone.
    • Could the phone-hacking scandal prove to be a blessing in disguise for Murdoch? He claimed to have been "humbled" by the scandal.
    • The Leveson inquiry is a British government-backed inquiry into illegal eavesdropping and bribery by journalists. Read the final report by Lord Leveson.