Former News International lawyer Tom Crone is latest to be arrested

It is being widely reported that Tom Crone, the former head of legal at News International, has been arrested by Metropolitan police detectives investigating phone hacking.

He is the third News International member of staff, past and present, to be arrested in the last few days. 

According to the Guardian, Crone was arrested at his home address in south-west London this “morning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept communications”.

It reports that the arrest follows the passing of information from News International’s management and standards committee and Crone had no prior notice that the police were to make the arrest.

His arrest makes him the 25th person arrested as part of the Operation Weeting investigation into phone hacking.

Last month it was announced that eight people, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, are to face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking.

The charges include accessing of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone messages.

Times NightJack arrest

Yesterday a former Times journalist, Patrick Foster, who unmasked the Nightjack police blogger was also arrested by the Met.

That arrest related to offences under the Computer Misuse Act and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Foster is alleged to have hacked into the account of police officer Richard Horton who was revealed to be the man behind the NightJack blog in 2009.

The NightJack story re-emerged earlier this year at the Leveson inquiry when it was revealed that The Times was being investigated by the Metropolitan police over email hacking claims.

The investigation was announced after it emerged at Leveson that the controversial 2009 Times article that outed the anonymous police blogger, known as Nightjack, was based on material obtained by hacking a Hotmail email account.

News International’s problems also extended to Scotland as Bob Bird, a former editor of the News of the World in Scotlland was yesterday arrested and charged by police investigating allegations of perjury and phone hacking linked to Scottish socialist leader Tommy Sheridan’s conviction for lying in court.

The Guardian reported that Strathclyde police took Bird in for questioning on Wednesday as part of their long-running Operation Rubicon inquiry into claims that witnesses lied under oath during Sheridan’s perjury trial in 2010.

Bird was later released from custody and a report will now be prepared for prosecutors.

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