More News of the World journalists arrested in phone hacking probe


Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks arrive at the Old Bailey court in central London on Sept. 26, 2012 in London, England.


Bethany Clarke

LONDON, UK — British police on Wednesday arrested six former News of the World journalists allegedly involved in privacy hacking offenses, according to the Huffington Post.

Scotland Yard said the arrests are part of "a further suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails by a number of employees who worked for the now defunct News of the World newspaper."

Police indicated the new suspected conspiracy occurred sometime between 2005-2006, CNN reports

A police statement read: "It is separate from the alleged conspiracy already being investigated by Operation Weeting in which a number of people have been charged."

GlobalPost Senior Correspondent in London Barry Nield said the arrests appear to indicate a new line of inquiry into the phone hacking scandal, with reports suggesting the journalists involved were part of a previously unidentified conspiracy to eavesdrop on the lives of public figures.

"Such fresh investigations suggest that the true extent of the hacking scandal, which has exposed deep media ethics problems in the UK, has yet to be uncovered," Nield said.

Nield added that the arrests come at a time when the government is facing renewed criticism for its failure to act on media regulation recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson following a long-running inquiry into industry practices.

"Leveson urged the establishment of an independent body, backed by legislation, to oversee a press code of conduct," Nield said. "But the government has opted to establish regulation by royal charter, an arcane route that accords powers without subjecting them to full parliamentary approval."

Dozens of people have been arrested and charged since the hacking scandal broke, including former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.

"In due course officers will be making contact with people they believe have been victims of the suspected voicemail interceptions," a police spokesman said.

More from GlobalPost: United Kingdom: Hacked apart in 2012