UK police arrest Hollywood reporter over hacking

LONDON Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:04am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's defunct News of the World have arrested a senior Hollywood reporter at the tabloid, James Desborough, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Police said they had arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications after arriving at a south London police station Thursday morning by appointment.

Desborough joined the News of the World in 2005 as a showbusiness and news reporter and was promoted to become U.S. editor, based in Los Angeles, in 2009. He worked for the News of the World up until it closed last month.

The Guardian newspaper's website said the allegations were believed to relate to events before Desborough was sent to the United States.

U.S. agencies are investigating whether the News of the World's phone-hacking activities extended to the United States. So far, they have not found evidence that they did.

The arrest is the 13th this year in an inquiry that has rocked the News of the World's parent company, Murdoch's News Corp, and has had far-reaching implications for the British establishment.

A spokeswoman for News International, News Corp's British newspaper arm, said the company was cooperating fully with police and could not comment further because of the police investigation.

Former News of the World editor and Murdoch favorite Rebekah Brooks and Britain's top two policemen have resigned over the allegations, while Murdoch and his son James have been quizzed in parliament.

James Murdoch, who runs News Corp's non-U.S. operations, may be recalled to face further questions after two senior former News International executives called his evidence into question.

A letter published this week suggested that many senior figures at the News of the World were aware of phone hacking, undermining the media company's defense that the practice was the work of a rogue reporter.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison and Georgina Prodhan)

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Comments (1)
Steverino wrote:
My question is how long will it take before we see the connection between Fox News and the hacking scandal? If so much of Rupert Murdock’s British media empire has been engaged in hacking, how much illegal hacking is the flagship of his American media empire, Fox News, engaged in?

Aug 18, 2011 9:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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