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Rebekah Brooks, husband among six arrested

The police arrested Rebekah Brooks, former editor of News of the World newspaper and a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, on Tuesday in the biggest swoop so far in Britain's phone-hacking scandal, BBC reported. Dipankar De Sarkar reports.

world Updated: Mar 14, 2012 00:03 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

The police arrested Rebekah Brooks, former editor of News of the World newspaper and a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, on Tuesday in the biggest swoop so far in Britain's phone-hacking scandal, BBC reported.

The police said five men and a woman were held in dawn raids across London and southeast England - suspects are named only if they are charged. The six, who were also said to include Rebekah's racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, were held on suspicion of "conspiring to pervert the course of justice."

Rebekah, a powerful British journalist who was ex-chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, was also arrested in July last year on suspicion of intercepting the telephone calls of celebrities and ordinary citizens and of paying corrupt police officers for information. She was later bailed.

Tuesday's swoop, which brings the total number of arrests in the long-running case to 23, took the British media by surprise. Eight hours into the arrests, the police were still questioning the detainees, who also included the head of security and another non-editorial employee at News International, Sky News said.

The arrests are particularly embarrassing for Cameron, who recently admitted that before he became PM, he rode a horse that had been lent to Rebekah by London police. Cameron said he went riding with Charlie Brooks - the two men studied at the same exclusive private school, Eton.