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News Corp. phone hacking scandal in Britain marks 11th arrest

Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 71, is reportedly the person arrested Tuesday in the British investigation.

August 03, 2011|By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
  • Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the News of the World newspaper was arrested Tuesday, the eleventh person to be arrested in the British scandal over alleged phone hacking by the former tabloid in Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the News of the World newspaper… (Associated Press )

Reporting from London — British police made their 11th arrest Tuesday in an investigation into phone hacking by the now-shuttered Sunday tabloid News of the World, owned by the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire.

A 71-year-old man, named in news reports here as Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of the News of the World, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to intercept communications and corruption when he voluntarily appeared for questioning at a central London police station.

Kuttner's detention comes after the high-profile arrests of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and her successor, Andy Coulson, who later became communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron. The pair are under suspicion of authorizing payments by journalists to private investigators for illegal phone hacking.

Kuttner resigned from the paper in 2009, after 22 years as managing editor. Although unexplained, his resignation came just before reports appeared that the News of the World paid a $1-million out-of-court settlement to Gordon Taylor, a soccer union executive and former player, who had threatened to bring charges related to alleged phone hacking.

As managing editor, Kuttner would have had to authorize all payments in the editorial budget, including any made to the private investigators. Glenn Mulcaire, an investigator employed on contract by the News of the World, and royal reporter Clive Goodman, accused of ordering hacking into phones of the British royal family, were convicted in 2007.

In testimony she gave to a parliamentary committee two weeks ago, Brooks, who recently resigned as chief of News International, the British division of News Corp., said that private investigators were habitually used by the News of the World, as they were by all British papers. "The payments of private detectives would have gone through the managing editor's office," she said.

Stobart is a news assistant in The Times' London bureau.

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