This morning between 5 and 7 am UK time, there were 6 more arrests in connection with the investigations into the News of the World phone hacking allegations:
Police said one woman and five men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.The "43 year old woman from Oxfordshire" has been named by the media as Rebekah Brooks, sometime Chief Executive of News International and keeper of a retired Metropolitan Police horse. The "49-year-old man" is believed to be her current husband; racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks. (Her former husband, Ross Kemp, is an actor best known for his role in the BBC soap "Eastenders" who went on to make 'action man' documentaries for Sky Television about violent criminal gangs. During thier marriage, there were allegations that Kemp had been the victim of an assault by Rebekah).
Officers from the Operation Weeting phone-hacking inquiry are searching addresses connected to the arrests.
Those arrested were a 49-year-old man and 43-year-old woman, both from Oxfordshire, a 39-year-old man from Hampshire, a 46-year-old man from west London, a 38-year-old man from Hertfordshire, and a 48-year-old man from east London.
Other things to note is that the News International offices are in east London and these arrests are on different offenses from the ones last year. They were in respect of "intercepting communications", i.e. phone hacking. These are "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice". From Wiki:
Perverting the course of justice can be any of three acts:The maximum sentence if convicted is life imprisonment.
Fabricating or disposing of evidence
Intimidating or threatening a witness or juror
Intimidating or threatening a judge
Also worth noting is this snippet:
Police said the arrests did not result from information passed to them by News Corporation's management and standards committee. A number of past arrests followed News Corp's MSC, which is reviewing internal emails and documents, passing suspicious-looking ones to the Weeting team.The MSC co-operation has been widely seen as a device to protect News Corp from Foreign Corrupt Practices charges in the USA and preserve their "fit and proper" status with the FCC.
5:18 AM PT: Sky News are reporting that another of those arrested is Mark Hanna, 'Director Group Security' at News International. Of interest is that Hanna joined NI from the bank Nomura Security in April 2009.
In case you may have forgotten, Brooks' arrest last July was "by appointment" whereby a suspect is invited to attend with their legal representative more or less as a formality. The arrests this morning were the more typical "morning knock" which is commonly used to prevent the concealment or destruction of evidence that may be on the premises.