New Arrest in British Phone Hacking Scandal

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The police said only that a 71-year-old man had been taken into custody at a north London police station. But several British news organizations, including the Guardian newspaper and Sky TV, part of the Murdoch empire, identified the man as Stuart Kuttner, who resigned in 2009 as the newspaper’s managing editor.

The 168-year-old tabloid, Britain’s highest-selling Sunday newspaper, was shut down last month by News International, the Murdoch subsidiary, amid profuse apologies from Mr. Murdoch and other executives. They acknowledged a widespread pattern at the tabloid of hacking into the cellphone voice messages of politicians, entertainment celebrities, sports stars and crime victims, including a 13-year-old schoolgirl who had been abducted and murdered.

A police statement said that the man arrested on Tuesday was being questioned on suspicion of offenses under two sections of the criminal code, conspiring to intercept communications and contravention of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Those two sections were also invoked in the arrest last month of Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World and chief executive of News International, the Murdoch newspaper subsidiary in Britain.

Ms. Brooks became the highest-ranking casualty of the scandal when she resigned her News International post last month, after first vowing to lead the company’s fight against the allegations. In parliamentary testimony on July 19, she told lawmakers that payments to private investigators — part of the pattern of alleged phone-hacking at the News of the World while she was the paper’s editor — were the responsibility of the paper’s managing editor’s office.

The payments and questions about who approved them and what they knew of the investigators’ activities, particularly phone-hacking, are a central part of the police investigation. The phone-hacking was first revealed with the arrest five years ago of the tabloid’s royalty correspondent, Clive Goodman, and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, for hacking into the voicemail messages of Prince William, second-in-line to Britain’s throne. Mr. Goodman and Mr. Mulcaire, who both served prison terms, are the only individuals so far to have faced criminal prosecution in the affair.

Ms. Brooks told the House of Commons select committee on culture, media and sport that private investigators had been employed by the tabloid for “purely legitimate” purposes during her time as editor from 2000 to 2003. She testified that “payments to private investigators would have gone through the managing editor’s office,” but that she had no recollection of ever having discussed individual payments.

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