The police have made five more arrests as part of Operation Elveden – the investigation into “inappropriate payments” to Metropolitan Police officers.  One police officer and four present or former “Sun” journalists and executives were arrested.  There have now been thirteen arrests as part of the investigaiton into payments to police officers and, in total, 32 arrests arising out of the “phone hacking” and related investigations.

The arrests yesterday were of a  29-year-old police officer, Mike Sullivan the crime editor of the “Sun”, Graham Dudman the former managing editor of the Sun, Fergus Shanahan, the executive editor of the Sun, and Chris Pharo the Associate Editor (News) of the Sun.  All five persons arrested have now been released on police bail.  There are stories about the arrests in the “Guardian“, the “Independent“, and the “Telegraph“.

Police officers searched the offices of News International in Wapping, east London, and the home addresses of the suspects.  A Scotland Yard spokesman said:

“Today’s operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation’s management and standards committee. It relates to suspected payments to police officers and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately.

News Corporation issued a statement about the arrests and the Chief Executive of News International, Tom Mockridge, issued a statement to its staff which included the following:

“This morning four of our colleagues were arrested by the Metropolitan police service in relation to Operation Elveden. I understand that the arrests resulted from information provided to the MPS by News Corporation‘s Management and Standards Committee.

We believe that those arrested are currently being questioned by the police and we must take care not to pre-judge the outcome of the police interviews. The company has provided legal support to those interviewed today. The police are also conducting a limited search at the Sun‘s offices, supervised by the MSC’s lawyers.

News International is confronting past mistakes and is making fundamental changes about how we operate which are essential for our business. As you know, the MSC is leading an internal investigation into our three remaining titles. While this is ongoing, it is well advanced with regards to the Sun”.

None of the individuals arrested by the three related police operations has yet been charged.  The investigations continue.