Rebekah Brooks questioned by police over MoD payments

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was questioned by police yesterday about payments to Ministry of Defence officials.

She was asked about evidence handed over by News Corporation‘s Management and Standards Committee as she answered bail over allegations of phone-hacking and corruption, sources said.

Scotland Yard confirmed a 43-year-old woman had been rebailed until May by officers from Operation Elveden, the inquiry into allegations of inappropriate payments.

Brooks’ spokesman refused to discuss details but a source close to the investigation said: “She was returning to answer bail in Milton Keynes this morning and was asked details about confidential sources for the Ministry of Defence. She was not asked about any other matters.”

Brooks, a former editor of The Sun, was first arrested by detectives in July on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption, days after she quit News International.

She was rearrested last week with her racehorse trainer husband Charlie on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: “A 43-year-old woman returned on bail today and was questioned at a police station in Buckinghamshire by officers from Operation Elveden.

“She has been rebailed to return to a London police station on a date in May pending further inquiries. We are not prepared to discuss the matter further.”

Police searched several addresses in Oxfordshire, London, Hampshire and Hertfordshire after the couple were held along with four other suspects on 13 March.

Her lawyer, Stephen Parkinson, recently said evidence given by Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers at the Leveson Inquiry had brought “much prejudicial material” into the public domain.

Brooks’ relations with top police officers and politicians have been called into question after it emerged that she “fostered” a police horse when it retired from active service in 2008.

She paid food and vet bills until the animal, called Raisa, was rehoused with a police officer in 2010, months before fresh investigations began into illegal activities at the News of the World.

A total of 22 people have been arrested under Weeting, which has been running since January last year, Scotland Yard said.

  • To contact the Press Gazette newsdesk call 020 7936 6433 or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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