Five senior 'Sun' journalists, two MoD staff and a police officer taken in dawn swoop as new front opens in bribery scandal
Sunday 12 February 2012
Police swooped on eight individuals between 6am and 8am yesterday, arresting the five Sun journalists, two Ministry of Defence staff and a police officer. The arrests came hard on the heels of five related arrests two weeks ago when four senior Sun journalists and a police officer were questioned in connection with bribery allegations. All eight were released on bail last night.
The latest astonishing development, which came two days after the Leveson inquiry into press standards finished its first session, prompted fury among the newspaper's staff, amid allegations that those arrested had been "thrown to the wolves" in an effort to bolster the embattled News Corp empire, and, particularly, to rekindle its hopes of taking over BSkyB. The police were acting on information provided by News International, owner of The Sun and Times newspapers, through its Management and Standards Committee (MSC).
Amid fury among the paper's editorial staff, Mr Murdoch was forced to issue a pledge last night that he was not preparing to sell the newspaper, via his chief executive, Tom Mockridge. Senior staff were told that Mr Murdoch planned to fly to London to calm the situation. Journalists including the paper's deputy editor were bailed after being questioned in connection with allegations of making illegal payments to police officers and other officials. READ MORE