Ex-policeman held in Britain phone-hacking inquiry

LONDON - British detectives arrested a former police officer Thursday as part of an investigation into alleged bribery related to the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, Scotland Yard said.

The unnamed 57-year-old was arrested in a dawn raid at his house in Surrey, southwest of London, on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the force said in a statement.

The suspect had previously served in the Metropolitan Police’s specialist operations command and retired several years ago, it said.

The arrest was made as a result of information provided by the Management Standards Committee of Murdoch’s US-based News Corp., a panel set up by Murdoch to probe illegal activity at his British newspapers, it added.

“He is currently being questioned at a south west London police station and his home address is being searched,” the Scotland Yard statement said.

The arrest was made by officers from Operation Elveden, a Scotland Yard investigation probing allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

It is being run in tandem with Operation Weeting, the original investigation launched in January 2011 into phone-hacking at the News of the World newspaper.

Police have arrested more than 40 people as part of the twin investigations. The arrests have recently included several staff from The Sun, Murdoch’s top-selling British daily tabloid.

A British parliamentary commitee on Tuesday said in a report that Murdoch was not a fit person to lead an international company, although the cross-party panel was split on the decision.

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