2 journalists arrested in Britain media probe

Agence France-Presse
Police arrest two British journalists for corruption charges

LONDON, United Kingdom – Police investigating corruption in the British media arrested two more journalists Wednesday, July 11, both from rival tabloids to Rupert Murdoch’s now-closed News of the World.

One of the men is Justin Penrose, a reporter for the Sunday Mirror tabloid, Penrose’s employers said, while British media named the other as Tom Savage, deputy news editor of the Daily Star Sunday.

Scotland Yard said that in dawn raids a 37-year-old man was detained at his home in Kent, southeast England, and a 34-year-old man at his home in London, but did not identify them.

Both were questioned at separate police stations on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.

The pair were later bailed to return to the same police stations in October.

A spokesman for Trinity Mirror, which owns the Sunday Mirror, said: “We have been informed by the police that Justin Penrose was arrested this morning on suspicion of alleged payments to public officials.

“We are co-operating fully with the police.”

Northern and Shell, which owns the Daily Star Sunday, confirmed the arrest of an employee but did not name him.

“We can confirm that one of our reporters was arrested this morning as part of Operation Elveden and we are working closely with the authorities in relation to this matter,” a spokesman said.

Several British media outlets named him as Savage.

A police spokesman told AFP searches were underway at “two business premises in London”.

Media named them as the offices of Trinity Mirror and Northern and Shell.

Penrose, who joined the Sunday Mirror in 2004, gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry into press ethics in March.

He told the inquiry that in his job as crime correspondent, which he had held since 2006, he aimed to “build up a relationship of mutual trust” with the police.

Operation Elveden

The arrests bring to 41 the total number arrested under Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments by journalists to police and public officials.

The operation is being run alongside Operation Weeting, an investigation into phone-hacking at British newspapers, and Operation Tuleta, covering alleged computer hacking.

More than 60 people have been arrested under the three investigations, including Rebekah Brooks, a former top aide to Murdoch and friend of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his former media chief Andy Coulson.

Scotland Yard set up the three probes in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that forced Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid to close last July.

Australian-born tycoon Murdoch, 81, closed the 168-year-old Sunday newspaper after revelations that it had accessed the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl, as well as dozens of public figures. – Agence France-Presse

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