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U.K. Prison Guard Charged Over News Corp. Tabloid Bribes

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- A prison officer in Britain was charged with committing misconduct in public office for allegedly taking a bribe from News Corp.’s Sun tabloid in exchange for information about a high-profile prisoner.

Richard Trunkfield, an operational support officer at Woodhill prison in Milton Keynes, England, accepted 3,350 pounds ($5,200) from journalists at the Sun in 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service said today in a statement.

Trunkfield “willfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust,” prosecutors said in the statement.

Operation Elveden, the bribery probe that grew out of an investigation into phone hacking at News Corp. newspapers, has led to 61 arrests, including members of the military, Sun journalists and two serving police officers detained last week on suspicion of leaking confidential information about well-known people. Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. publisher, was charged in November.

The bribery investigation is running parallel to the probe into voice-mail interception by News Corp.’s other U.K. tabloid, the News of the World, which Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed in July 2011 in response to the scandals.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net

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