New Arrests in Murdoch Phone Hacking Investigation

March 13, 2012

Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at the Stafford Hotel, London, Britain - 10 Jul 2011 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Stay tuned for Murdoch’s Scandal, a FRONTLINE investigation scheduled to air March 27 (check your local listings).

Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News International and former editor of two British tabloids, The Sun and The News of the World, was reportedly arrested today, along with her husband and five other people, on suspicion of corrupting justice. The arrests are part of the U.K. police investigation known as Operation Weeting, an ongoing probe into the phone-hacking scandal that’s plagued Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporation, Scotland Yard and the British government.

This isn’t the first time Brooks has been police custody. She was also picked up last July, soon after allegations emerged that News of the World private investigators hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, a teen who went missing in 2002 and was later found murdered. Brooks resigned her post as CEO just 48 hours before her July arrest, during which she was questioned about the phone hacking and corruption and later released.

In total, it’s alleged that almost 6,000 people were victims of the hacking, and the scandal has led to the resignation of the head of Scotland Yard, and has caused Rupert’s son James to step down from his position as CEO of News International. To date, 23 people have been arrested as part of Operation Weeting.

Brooks has maintained that she knows nothing about the phone hacking. A call made to David Wilson, a spokesman for the Brookses, by The New York Times was not returned.

FRONTLINE will investigate the shocking accounts of bribery, blackmail and invasion of privacy against News Corporation in our upcoming film Murdoch’s Scandal, which airs March 27 (check your local listings). Watch a preview above, and learn more about Rebekah Brooks in this recent Vanity Fair feature that chronicles her rise and fall. Also take a look at this BBC graphic that tracks the history and tangled web of players in Murdoch’s empire.

Update [March 14, 2012]: Rebekah Brooks, her husband and three others were released on bail, while one person remains in custody.

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