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Brooks, 5 Others Arrested in Phone-Hacking Probe

Reuters with CNBC.com
Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012 | 8:12 AM ET

British police investigating the systematic hacking of mobile phones to generate stories at a Rupert Murdoch tabloid arrested six people - believed to include former Murdoch editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband - on Tuesday in dawn raids across the country.

Rebekah Brooks
CNBC.com
Rebekah Brooks

Police working on Operation Weeting said the five men and one woman were held between 5:00 and 7:00 am GMT on Tuesday morning on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Police said in a statement that the six were held following a consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the department which prosecutes criminal cases investigated by the police, but a spokesman would not say whether the six had been arrested before.

Operation Weeting was set up to investigate the allegation that journalists and investigators working for the News of the World tabloid repeatedly hacked into mobile phones to generate stories.

The arrested woman was described as aged 43 with a home in Oxfordshire. Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World tabloid and a close friend of Murdoch, chief executive, chairman and founder of News Corporation, is 43 and has a home in Oxfordshire.

She has previously been arrested as part of the hacking investigation. Her spokesman said he did not immediately know whether she had been detained.

Former News Int'l CEO Rebekah Brooks Arrested
CNBC's Catherine Boyle reports former News International CEO, Rebekah Brooks, was arrested again, along with her husband and six other people in connection with an alleged phone hacking scandal.

Brooks' husband Charlie, a well-known horse trainer and former school friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, is also among those arrested, a police source told CNBC.com.

The pressure on the Murdochs over the story is unlikely to go away any time soon. A report into the phone hacking scandal by a committee of UK members of parliament is due by the end of the month.

The MPs, including Tom Watson, who was put under surveillance by Murdoch-owned newspapers, are believed to be debating how forthcoming they thought James Murdoch was in his two appearances in front of them.