Ex-#NOTW editor Thurlbeck re-arrested on suspicion of intimidation of witness

Former chief reporter of the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck, was this afternoon arrested on suspicion of intimidating a witness.

He has been on bail since April 5 2011 when he was arrested on suspicion of phone hacking. His arrest comes in the same week that Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charlie Brooks, were arrested along with four others.

The arrest was made by officers from Scotland Yard’s phone-hacking probe, Operation Weeting, at 4pm today over allegations “of interfering with a witness and encouraging or assisting an offence,” according to the Mail Online:

“Last week Mr Thurlbeck was accused of antagonising members of the News International’s management and standards committee (MSC) which has handed millions of e-mails to police investigating the scandal.

In a critical blog he provided the home address of Will Lewis, a key member of the committee and Mr Thurlbeck also referred to a skiing trip bonding session on 28 January, supposedly held by Lewis and other MSC executives at the time Sun journalists were arrested.

“Yesterday a Met Police spokesman said: ‘A 51-year-old man was arrested by appointment at a central London police station at approximately 4pm today, Wednesday 14 March, by officers from Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemails,” the Mail reports.

Last year the former news editor, Ian Edmondson, and then chief reporter of the News of the World, Thurlbeck, were arrested on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting mobile phone voicemail messages.

The two voluntarily presented themselves at different London police stations and were arrested and their homes searched.

At the time the arrests were the first salvo in Operation Weeting.

Earlier today James Murdoch told MPs he accepted responsibility for “not uncovering wrongdoing sooner” over the phone-hacking scandal at News International.

However, the former executive chairman of the company denied misleading Parliament over the issue.

His comments were made in a letter released by a parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking.

In his letter to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, James Murdoch, said: “I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing.”

“Whilst I accept my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing sooner, I did not mislead parliament and the evidence does not support any other conclusion.”

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