Brooks arrested in hacking scandal

by
July 17, 2011

By Mohammed Abbas | Reuters

Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper business, was arrested on Sunday in the latest twist of a phone-hacking scandal that has tainted British police and politicians and shaken the tycoon’s global media empire.

Several sources familiar with the situation said Brooks, 43, was being questioned as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal voicemail interception and police bribery at the News of the World tabloid she once edited.

Brooks quit as head of News International, the British unit of Murdoch’s News Corp last Friday, but has denied she knew of the alleged hacking of thousands of phones, including that of a murdered schoolgirl.

The revelations have shocked the public and raised concerns not only about unethical media practice but about the influence Murdoch has wielded over successive British leaders and allegations of cozy relationships between some of his journalists and the police.

With politicians from Australia to the United States demanding to know if similar abuses occurred elsewhere in Murdoch’s global media business, the 80-year-old has been forced on the defensive and the position of his son James as heir-apparent has been called into question.

In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire for his friendship with Brooks and for employing another former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, as his press secretary even after Coulson had quit the paper in 2007 following the jailing of a reporter for phone-hacking.

“The waters are very definitely lapping around the Murdochs’ own ankles,” Chris Bryant, a member of parliament for Britain’s opposition Labour Party, told Reuters.

To read more, visit:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/17/us-newscorp-hacking-idUSTRE7641IO20110717

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