News Corp. Journalist Arrested in Probe of Stolen Phones

A second journalist at News Corp.’s Sun tabloid was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods as part of a police probe into allegations that the newspaper used data from mobile phones that were ripped off.

Police arrested a 37-year-old journalist today, the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement. That follows the arrest of a 51-year-old man yesterday. Both men worked at the Sun, according to an official at News Corp.’s U.K. unit, who asked not to be identified, citing company policy.

The alleged thefts are the latest accusation against News Corp.’s U.K. publishing business, News International, whose reporters and editors have been accused of hacking into mobile-phone voice mails and e-mails, bribing public officials and disrupting police investigations. Sue Akers, the MPS deputy assistant commissioner, said last week that officers had discovered that News International journalists had information that appeared to be from stolen phones.

About 60 people have been arrested since the police investigations began last year. Eight former News Corp. journalists were charged last week with conspiring to intercept voice mail, including former News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, an ex-lead tabloid editor who later became an adviser to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

The group sought to hack the mobile-phone messages of more than 600 people between 2000 and 2006, including U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and murdered British teenager Milly Dowler, the Crown Prosecution Service said in London last week.

New York-based News Corp. has decided to split the company, isolating the newspaper business, as it attempts to move on from the scandal. Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch has appeared before Parliament alongside his son James Murdoch to explain how illegal activities at his newspapers escaped his notice.

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