Policeman arrested amid Guardian leak claim

A 51-year-old Scotland Yard detective has been arrested over leaks during the phone hacking investigation.

It is believed that the leak may involve The Guardian newspaper, Sky News has reported. According to The Times website, the arrest follows a Met Police investigation into the leaking of information to The Guardian throughout the Met’s phone-hacking inquiry.

In another development, a 35-year-old man has also been arrested by appointment today by detectives investigating phone hacking, Scotland Yard said.

According to Press Association, this is former News of the World feature writer Dan Evans who was suspended by the News of the World in April 2010.

Yesterday The Guardian website was first with the news that former News of the World showbiz editor James Desborough had been arrested as part of the Operation Weeting inquiry into phone-hacking. It was not the first time that the paper has been first to report arrests made during the inquiry and to reveal the names of those involved.

According to The Times, the Guardian had news of Desborough’s arrest before it had taken place.

The Times said in its report this morning: “Despite the sensitivity surrounding Operating Weeting…details of the arrest were leaked to one newspaper website before it had taken place.”

The Met Police said in a statement: “Officers from the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards Anti Corruption Unit have arrested a serving MPS officer from Operation Weeting on suspicion of misconduct in a public office relating to unauthorised disclosure of information as a result of a proactive operation.

“The male detective constable, aged 51 years, was arrested at work yesterday afternoon (Thursday 18 August 2011). He has been bailed to return on 29 September 2011 pending further inquiries. He has today (19 August) been suspended.

Deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, in charge of Operation Weeting, said: “I made it very clear when I took on this investigation the need for operational and information security. It is hugely disappointing that this may not have been adhered to. The MPS takes the un-authorised disclosure of information extremely seriously and has acted swiftly in making these arrests.”

A spokesman for Guardian News and Media said: “We note the arrest of a Scotland Yard detective on suspicion of misconduct in a public office relating to unauthorised disclosure of information.

“On the broader point raised by the arrest, journalists would no doubt be concerned if conversations between off-the-record sources and reporters came routinely to be regarded as criminal activity. In common with all news organisations we have no comment to make on the sources of our journalism.”

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