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18th phone-hacking suspect arrested

Dec. 7, 2011 at 9:11 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Police Wednesday arrested an 18th suspect in the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked Britain, Scotland Yard said.

Officers said the man, held at a south London police station, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voice mail messages, the BBC reported.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the unidentified man was "arrested a man in connection with phone hacking and perverting the course of justice."

The scandal led to the shuttering of News of the World, and the arrests of several members of the tabloid's management team and several leaders of News International, the parent of News of the World and a subsidiary of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The scandal also resulted in the resignations of the London police commissioner and his deputy and two investigations that saw Murdoch and his son, James, called before Parliament.

The arrest Wednesday came a week after a 31-year-old woman was detained in the same investigation in northeast England, The New York Times reported.

While Scotland Yard didn't provide details, British news media identified the woman as Bethany Usher, a former News of the World reporter who now is a lecturer in journalism at Teesside University. She was released on bail soon after her arrest. In a statement, she denied the hacking allegations.

"I have never been involved in the interception of telecommunications in any way and strictly adhered to the Press Complaints Commission code of practice," Usher said. "However, I became disillusioned through working with some who saw human suffering simply as fodder to fill pages. As such, I made the decision to find an alternative career."

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