Ex-News Corp. Lawyer Said to Be Arrested in Hacking Probe

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Tom Crone, the former lawyer for News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, was arrested by London police probing the phone-hacking scandal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Crone was detained at his home and is being interviewed by the Metropolitan Police Service, said the person, who asked not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The Met didn’t identify Crone in a statement today about the arrest of a 60-year-old man in the phone-hacking investigation.

Crone, the News of the World’s attorney until the tabloid was closed in July 2011, emerged as a key figure in the phone-hacking scandal last year when he and Colin Myler, a former editor at the newspaper, contradicted testimony given to Parliament by News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch regarding when he found out about the extent of phone hacking at the company.

The investigation into the widespread interception of mobile-phone voice mail by journalists is running parallel to probes into computer hacking and bribery of public officials by News Corp.’s U.K. titles. Police in London and Glasgow arrested two ex-News Corp. employees yesterday in the related probes.

The Guardian newspaper reported Crone’s identity earlier.

Crone’s lawyer, Henri Brandman, didn’t immediately return a call for comment. A receptionist said Brandman was at a police interview.

More than 60 arrests have resulted from the three probes that police began last year after new evidence was uncovered in civil lawsuits by celebrity victims. Eight former journalists were charged last month, including former News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who later became a press adviser to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

Crone, Myler and Les Hinton, the former chairman of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, gave misleading testimony to the committee in 2009, a panel of lawmakers said in May. The committee is considering whether the trio should be punished for contempt.

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