July 18, 2011

Brooks Detained by London Police after Quitting Her News Corp Job


A top U.K. executive at News Corp was detained by Scotland Yard for several hours on Sunday after she resigned from her corporate post.

Rebekah Brooks quit in the midst of the widening phone hacking scandal – which has already led to the closing of the News of the World.

The scandal also raises questions over the future of News Corp and its powerful CEO Rupert Murdoch.

News of the World hacked into the mobile phones of celebrities, crime victims, politicians and the relatives of Britain’s war dead, TechZone360 said.

Some 4,000 people were the targets of alleged phone hacking by investigators and News of the World reporters, TechZone360 added.

Brooks was CEO of News International since 2009, and was the editor of the News of the World between 2000 and 2003.

Brooks was arrested by London police investigating phone hacking and bribery charges at the News of the World.

Brooks, 43, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption, reports the BBC.

The arrest caused Brooks “enormous reputational damage,’’ Stephen Parkinson, her lawyer, said in a statement.

The police must say why they arrested and interviewed Brooks for over nine hours on Sunday “without confronting her with any allegations,” Parkinson said, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

"The position of Rebekah Brooks can be simply stated: She is not guilty of any criminal offence," Parkinson added.

Meanwhile, Brooks regretted having to step down from her job at News Corp.

“Recent times have been tough,” she wrote in an internal letter distributed to employees that was later published by The Washington Post. “I now need to concentrate on correcting

the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and

executive. My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full

cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.”

She will be succeeded by Tom Mockridge, who directs News Corp.’s Sky Italia division, reports Bloomberg News.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and News Corp. investors were among those calling for Brooks’ resignation.

In response, Cameron’s office said that Brooks quitting was “the right decision,” Bloomberg said.

Both Rupert Murdoch and his son, News International Chairman James Murdoch, had backed Brooks, and she was close to the Murdoch family, Bloomberg reports.

In addition, Brooks will appear before members of Parliament and meet with the Commons culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday.

She – as well as Rupert and James Murdoch – will also answer questions from MPs, according to The Guardian.

Brooks was the 10th person detained by police in the continuing phone hacking investigation, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.


Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves



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