LONDON: Ms Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the now defunct News of the World, was on Sunday arrested in connection with the phone-hacking scandal that has hit Mr Rupert Murdoch’s media empire hard over the last two weeks.
Ms Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of News International on Friday, was scheduled to appear before the culture, media and sport committee of the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Her arrest puts her appearance before in question, but it may go ahead as scheduled if Ms Brooks is released on bail.
Under incessant attacks, Mr Murdoch’s group came out with another apology in national newspapers on Sunday and promised to make amends to rebuild public trust.
Ms Brooks (43) was arrested by appointment by the police as part of the investigation called Operation Weeting. The police said she was under custody at a London police station.
Ms Brooks is the 10th person to be arrested in connection with the scandal, and the second top executive of the News International after former NOTW editor, Mr Andy Coulson. She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on corruption allegations.
Her arrest comes amidst calls for revision of media ownership rules to prevent concentration and abuse of power in Britain.
Labour leader Mr Ed Miliband articulated a growing opinion when he said that Mr Murdoch wielded too much power through his holdings in the press and television industries.
His comments found support from the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Nick Clegg who also sought a re-examination of media policy to ensure plurality and prevention of concentration of power in the hands of an individual or a group.
The current investigation is focusing on unethical practices in the News of the World, whose journalists are alleged to have paid bribes to policemen for exchange of information and for hacking into the phones of a number of people, including politicians, celebrities and family members of dead soldiers.
The phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler was also hacked during the time Ms Brooks was the editor of the paper.
News International placed another advert in a number of Sunday newspapers, declaring that there should be “no place to hide” from the police investigation into phone hacking.
Headed ‘Putting right what’s gone wrong’, the advert states that the company will cooperate fully with the probe and pay “compensation for those affected” and that the organisation was “committed to change”.
The advert came a day after the company printed apologies in national newspapers, for the wrongdoings and unethical practices adopted by journalists of the now closed News of the World.
Mr Miliband demanded cross-party agreement on new media ownership laws that would cut Mr Murdoch’s current market share, arguing that he has “too much power over British public life”.