U.K. Police Arrest Two Men in Reporters’ Computer-Hacking Probe

London police arrested two men and searched one of their homes as part of a computer-hacking probe triggered by News Corp. (NWSA)’s phone-hacking scandal.

The men, 50 and 51, who the police didn’t identify by name, were arrested at addresses in Hertfordshire, north of London, and Surrey, by officers in the computer-hacking probe known as Operation Tuleta, the Metropolitan Police said today in an e- mailed statement. It’s the third arrest in the probe.

Labour party lawmaker Tom Watson, a member of the U.K. Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee that is investigating phone hacking at News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, said in August he thought computer hacking would become the next scandal facing Rupert Murdoch’s company. In an e-mail earlier this month, he said police were probing the company’s Times newspaper over e-mail hacking.

The Times’s editor, James Harding, told a judge-led inquiry into media ethics last month that a reporter at the 227-year-old newspaper had gained unauthorized access to an e-mail account to get information for a story.

The phone-hacking scandal prompted News Corp. to shutter the News of the World tabloid in July, while several editors and reporters were arrested. A parallel probe of police bribery by reporters has already led to the arrests of 10 current and former employees at New York-based News Corp.’s Sun tabloid.

Former British Army intelligence officer Ian Hurst sued News Corp.’s London-based News International unit over claims it hired a computer expert to hack into his e-mail. Actress Sienna Miller told the judicial inquiry last year that she suspected her computer had been accessed by the media in 2008, though she didn’t say which paper.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said earlier today it is investigating an allegation that a police officer leaked information during the initial 2006 phone-hacking probe. The agency said the officer hasn’t been suspended and there isn’t evidence that he received an inappropriate payments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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