6 more journalists arrested in British hacking probe
Authorities have identified "a further suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails by a number of employees who worked for the now defunct News of the World newspaper," said Scotland Yard. The unnamed journalists have been detained "on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications."
All had worked for the News of the World, which was closed after revelations of phone hacking in 2011. The paper was owned by News International, the British branch of News Corp. Two under investigation now work for the Sun, a Murdoch-owned daily.
Mike Darcey, CEO of News International, confirmed in a staff memo that of the six arrested "two are current members of staff on the Sun." He added: "We have provided colleagues on the Sun with lawyers.. . . I share your concerns about them and recognize the huge burden it places on our journalists."
"This suspected conspiracy is believed to have taken place primarily during 2005 to 2006," their statement said. "It is separate from the alleged conspiracy already being investigated by Operation Weeting in which a number of people have been charged."
Operation Weeting is the inquiry into phone hacking that followed the discovery that a private investigator hired by tabloid journalists had hacked the voicemails of Milly Dowler, a teenager slain in 2002.
Phone hacking has since been revealed as a long-standing practice by several newspapers. Hundreds of alleged victims have come forward to claim redress in and out of court. So far, settlements amounting to millions of dollars have been paid out by News International, which is cooperating with police.