[guide.chat] news journalists bribery

Four Sun journalists arrested in investigation into police bribery
Raid at Wapping offices puts evidence given by former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks 
to parliament under fresh scrutiny

Jamie Doward
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 28 January 2012 21.56 GMT

Graham Dudman, former managing editor of the Sun, was one of the four 
journalists arrested in the operation. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
The role of the former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks is expected to come under 
fresh scrutiny after four of the paper's current and former journalists were 
arrested on Saturday in connection with an investigation into corrupt payments 
to police.

Detectives with Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into 
illegal payments to officers, raided the Sun's offices in Wapping, east London, 
morning after receiving information from News Corp, the parent company of News 
International, which owns the paper. A serving police officer in the Met's 
Territorial Policing command was also arrested at his place of work and 
questioned at a police station.

In a statement, News Corp said: "Metropolitan Police Service officers from 
Operation Elveden arrested four current and former employees from the Sun 
newspaper. Searches have also taken place at the homes and offices of those 
arrested. News Corporation made a commitment last summer that unacceptable news 
gathering practices by individuals in the past would not be repeated."

It is understood that staff and management at the Sun had no warning of the 
operation. The four Sun journalists arrested were Mike Sullivan, the paper's 
crime editor; the former managing editor, Graham Dudman; an executive editor, 
Fergus Shanahan; and Chris Pharo, a news desk executive. They all worked under 
Brooks, who edited the Sun from January 2003 to September 2009, when she became 
chief executive of News International.

In 2011 Brooks wrote to parliament's home affairs select committee saying that 
she had no "knowledge of any specific cases" involving News International 
reporters paying the police. This was an attempt to clarify comments that she 
made to the culture, media and sport committee in March 2003 when she declared: 
"We have paid the police for information in the past."

Paul Farrelly MP, a member of the committee, said: "The law must take its 
course. We have been clear all along that allegations of criminal behaviour 
involving journalists extend far beyond phone hacking."

Elveden was launched on the back of Operation Weeting, the inquiry into phone 
hacking. The phone hacking scandal led to the closure of the News of the World 
after 168 years, prompted a major public inquiry, and forced the resignation of 
the Met's two most senior police officers.

Two other journalists, Lucy Panton of the News of the World and Sun district 
editor, Jamie Pyatt, were arrested in connection with Elveden last year. A 
Scotland Yard spokesman said that Saturday's operation was the result of 
information provided by News Corp. "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," the spokesman 
said.

Deborah Glass, deputy chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, 
which is supervising Operation Elveden, said: "It will be clear from today's 
events that this investigation is following the evidence. I am satisfied with 
the strenuous efforts being made by this investigation to identify police 
officers who may have taken corrupt payments and I believe the results will 
speak for themselves." The arrests bring the number of people questioned in the 
Elveden investigation to 14. The four journalists and the police officer were 
bailed late on Saturday night pending further inquiries. News Corp's management 
and standards committee, set up last July to co-ordinate a response to the 
phone-hacking and bribery allegations, said it had given the police "every 
assistance during the searches of News International premises while ensuring 
that all appropriate steps were taken to protect legal and journalistic 
privilege."

The committee said it also provided the option of legal representation to those 
arrested.


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