It is reported that former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband, the racehorse trainer, Charlie Brooks, are among six new Operation Weeting arrests today. The six were arrested this morning as part of the inquiry into the phone hacking at News of the World and its aftermath. The arrests took place in a series of co-ordinated raids between 0500 and 0700am. Metropolitan Police officers arrested five men and one woman on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977, and are searching premises connected with these arrests.
The Metropolitan Police Press Release says
“Today’s operation follows consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.
Details of the arrests are as follows:
A 49 year old man was arrested at his home address in Oxfordshire and is being interviewed at a Buckinghamshire Police Station.
A 43 year old woman was arrested at her home address in Oxfordshire and is being interviewed at an Oxfordshire police station.
A 39 year old man was arrested at his home address in Hampshire and is being interviewed at a South West London police station.
A 46 year old man was arrested at his home address in West London and is being interviewed at a central London police station.
A 38 year old man was arrested at his home address in Hertfordshire and is being interviewed at a central London police station.
A 48 year old man was arrested at a business address in East London and is being interviewed at an East London police station“.
These six arrests take the total number of arrests under Operation Weeting, the Met Police inquiry into the phone hacking of voicemail boxes, to 23. The previous 17 people arrested – along with those arrested under Operations Elveden (payments to police) and Tuleta (email hacking) – have been listed by the Guardian.
These arrests are of interest in the context of the issues recently raised by Rebekah Brooks’ solicitor as to whether or not the journalists can get a fair trial because too much “prejudicial material has come into the public domain”. This article was discussed by Roy Greenslade in a post on his blog last week.
Laura Sandwell is a law graduate with a background in publishing