London police arrested three people today in their investigation into bribery by U.K. journalists, bringing the total arrests in the probe to 50.
The Metropolitan Police Service arrested a 39-year-old officer in the Wiltshire police force on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the MPS said in a statement. Two journalists, a 51-year-old man and a 32-year-old man, were also arrested at home at about 6 a.m. today.
News Corp. (NWSA), which owns the Times and Sun newspapers in the U.K., provided evidence to police as part of an investigation into reporters’ activities that followed from the discovery of widespread phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World tabloid. Police also have ongoing investigations into computer and phone hacking by journalists in News Corp.’s News International papers and competitors.
The arrests “relate to suspected payments to a public official and suspected disclosure of confidential information by a police officer,” the police said in the statement.
The News of the World usually paid 750 pounds ($1,200) for a “page lead” scoop and 1,000 pounds for tips, Matt Nixson, an ex-features editor at the Sun, said in court papers. Nixson, who hasn’t been arrested, has sued for wrongful termination after he was fired for allegedly approving a payment to a prison officer.
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