LONDON) — British police searched the offices of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers Saturday after arresting a police officer and four current and former staff of his tabloid The Sun as part of an investigation into police bribery by journalists.
The arrests spread the scandal over tabloid wrongdoing — which has already caused the closure of one tabloid, the News of the World — to a second Murdoch newspaper.
London's Metropolitan Police said two men aged 48 and one aged 56 were arrested on suspicion of corruption early in the morning at homes in and around London. A 42-year-old man was detained later at a London police station. Murdoch's News Corp. confirmed that all four were current or former Sun employees. A fifth man, a 29-year-old police officer, was arrested at the London station where he works.
The investigation into whether reporters illegally paid police for information is running parallel to a police inquiry into phone hacking by Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World. Officers were searching the men's homes and the east London headquarters of the media mogul's British newspapers for evidence.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal identifies the News Corporation journalists arrested today:
While neither police nor the company named the employees, a person familiar with the matter indicated that some of the arrested have served in top roles in the Sun's newsroom. They include Graham Dudman, who had been the paper's managing editor before being promoted last year to a job as editorial development director at News International, the company's U.K. newspaper unit.
In addition to Mr. Dudman, the arrested Sun employees are Mike Sullivan, Chris Pharo and Fergus Shanahan, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Sullivan is the tabloid's crime editor. Mr. Pharo last year was promoted to associate editor of news. In 2007, Mr. Shanahan was named executive editor of the paper, a senior editorial role. Mr. Shanahan previously had been deputy editor. The men couldn't immediately be reached to comment.
Rupert Murdoch himself was curiously silent about the arrests on his Twitter feed.
Guess he's only concerned when teachers are doing the misdeeds.
But just in case you're interested, The Guardian has a list of all 30 people arrested in the Murdoch hacking/bribery scandal here.
The scandal has now been traced to two of Murdoch's newspapers, the now closed News of the World and The Sun.
The police raided offices that also house staff for the The Sunday Times, so it is possible News Corporation employees at that Murdoch paper will also been arrested in the case.
So far, one Murdoch journalist who was working in America, James Desborough, has been arrested, leaving open the possibility that hacking/bribery was perpetrated by News Corporation/Murdoch employees here in the United States as well.
Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the NY Post ran a series on all the News Corporation employees arrested so far in the case?
They do that when it's teachers...