The British Police have arrested "four current and former staff" of Rupert Murdoch's best-selling tabloid. The arrests are part of investigation into the role of the Sun in unethical news gathering methods that led to closure of News of the World.
A policeman was also arrested in connection with the case.
Reuters reports police also conducted a search of the London files of Sun Publisher News International, News Corp's British arm that publishes the Sun, Britain’s highest circulation daily newspaper. New York Times reports that the New Corp's Management and Standards Committee that was set up after the phone hacking and bribery scandals, and "charged with rooting out unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals" at the company's British office, said, in statement released in New York, that the search operation was the result of information it passed to the police.
The Washington Post reports News Corp., in a statement, said it is cooperating with the police: “News Corporation made a commitment last summer that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past would not be repeated."
Tom Mockridge, chief executive of Murdoch's British operation, said in an email to staff said the investigation into the the Sun "is well advanced." He said: “News International is confronting past mistakes and is making fundamental changes about how we operate which are essential for our business...Despite this very difficult news, we are determined that News International will emerge a stronger and more trusted organization."
Reuters reports the police said that among the employees arrested were a 48-year-old man from north London, and two men from Essex, aged 48 and 56. The fourth man, aged 42, reported at the east London police station.
The police man arrested was a 29-year-old police officer serving with the Met Police's Territorial Policing Command. He was arrested at the Central London Police station where he worked.
Reuters reports that a Sun reporter said: "Everyone is a bit shocked, there is disbelief really. But there is a big difference between phone hacking and payments to the police."
The New York Times reports that more than a dozen reporters, editors and executives of the News of the World have been arrested in the phone hacking scandal. The company has been working to reach out-of-court settlements with politicians, celebrities and others identified as among the over 800 victims of illegal voice mail hacking. According to New York Times , Murdoch executives this month reached court-approved settlements amounting to nearly $1 million with 37 phone hacking victims including actor Jude Law, soccer star Ashley Cole and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.
Although Scotland Yard did not identify the men arrested, BBC reports they were the Sun's crime editor Mike Sullivan, its head of news Chris Pharo, former deputy editor Fergus Shanahan, and the paper's former managing editor Graham Dudman
AP reports the arrests bring to 13 the number of those arrested in the investigation of bribery of police officers. Those previously arrested include former chief executive of Murdoch's News International Rebekah Brooks, and ex-News of the World editor, Andy Coulson.