Rebekah Brooks Arrested: Murdoch and Son May Be Next in Phone Hacking Investigation

Posted on July 17, 2011


Two days before she was to have  appeared before a select committee in Parliament, Rebekah Brooks has been arrested in a scheduled meeting with police investigators.  She is perhaps the closest person to Murdoch in his empire lending credibility to the belief that Murdoch and/or his son would be next.  To date,  10 individuals  have been arrested in connection with the alleged News of the World’s phone hacking and police bribery.

The arrest came on a day of fast-moving developments as it emerged:

  • Britain’s top police officer accepted a free five-week stay at a top health spa where
  • News of the World hacking suspect Neil Wallis was a PR consultant.
  • Jude Law claimed he had been hacked in the U.S. – opening up legal action against Murdoch on the other side of the Atlantic

Ed Miliband called for the British arm of Murdoch’s media empire to be broken up.  This afternoon Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson was facing a battle to cling onto his job as it was discovered he accepted the £12,000 freebie from Champneys where ex-executive editor Neil Wallis worked.

The Murdochs and Ms Brooks are scheduled to appear before the Commons culture, media and sport committee on Tuesday.

Following her arrest, It was now unclear to what extent she would be able to answer questions if she did appear.

John Whittingdale, who will chair the committee, says he ‘doesn’t know’ if Mrs Brooks will still appear before MPs with her spokesman David Wilson adding that the arrest puts her in a ‘difficult position’ in terms of her appearance at the Commons.

…………………….

Mr Bryant, a former member of the [Parliamentary] committee, added: ‘Personally I always thought that Rebekah Brooks should have been arrested in 2003 when she said she had paid police officers for information.’

Media lawyer Mark Stephens told Sky News that Rebekah Brooks’ evidence before the Select Committee on Tuesday is likely to be unaffected by her arrest today.

Mr Stephens said: ‘Although she is likely to be in the police station for the thick end of today, there is no doubt she will be released in time to go to the Select Committee.

‘This investigation is strangling and squeezing the information out and it’s information that should frankly have been out some years ago. The police have sat on this and not done anything for years.

UPDATE from CNN on air:

Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned his post to reduce distraction from the work of the police.

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