Former Met officer arrested in phone-hack leaks probe

A former Scotland Yard officer was arrested today over allegations of unauthorised leaks to a journalist.

The 52-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of misconduct in public office after being detained at his Berkshire home by officers from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Evidence was sent to the police watchdog from Scotland Yard detectives investigating corruption surrounding the phone-hacking investigation.

The former officer is being questioned by IPCC investigators at a Thames Valley police station.

A spokeswoman for the watchdog said: “A 52-year-old man, a former Metropolitan Police Service officer, was arrested by the IPCC at his home in Berkshire this morning on suspicion of misconduct in public office and Data Protection Act offences.

“The arrest is the result of information passed to the IPCC by the Metropolitan Police Service team investigating Operation Elveden and relates to the alleged passing of unauthorised information to a journalist.”

Nine suspects have now been arrested as part of Operation Elveden, which was launched after officers were handed documents suggesting News International journalists had made payments to officers.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Met commissioner, said in July that evidence from the publisher suggested a small number of officers were involved.

Last month, a 52-year-old woman, understood to be a member of the force’s specialist operations branch, was arrested on suspicion of receiving illegal payments.

Others questioned as part of the inquiry include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson, former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, the paper’s former royal editor Clive Goodman, and a 63-year-old man whose identity has not been disclosed.

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are both former editors of the News of the World, which was closed in July at the height of the hacking scandal following revelations that murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was involved.

The final total of people whose phones were hacked by the News of the World will be about 800, the force believes.

The scandal has led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years, prompted a major public inquiry, and forced the resignation of Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul and assistant commissioner John Yates.

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