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MPs to grill ex-NotW editor as Met cuffs another man

Phone-hack scandal holds up young Murdoch's $6m bonus

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Scotland Yard brought the total number of arrests so far in its ongoing phone hacking allegations investigation at the now-defunct News of the World to 16 last Friday.

The Met cuffed a 30-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages, contrary to the Criminal Law Act, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The unnamed man was held in custody at a north London police station and later bailed until mid-January next year.

His arrest followed the re-arrest of 71-year-old former NotW managing editor Stuart Kuttner.

Kuttner was initially quizzed by cops probing phone-hacking and police corruption claims at the start of August.

Meanwhile, James Murdoch temporarily sacrificed a $6m bonus that was expected to be paid him by his father's company News Corp, which owns News International.

Murdoch the younger is NI's chairman, and so he has taken personal flak for the company's recent, er, bad press over phone-tapping at its former flagship British Sunday tabloid.

"In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me," he said in News Corp's annual proxy statement.

"While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do."

But it doesn't mean that $6m sweetener is gone for good.

"I will consult with the Compensation Committee in the future about whether any bonus may be appropriate at a later date," added Murdoch.

In the meantime, the younger Murdoch gets a base salary of $3m, a further $8.3m in stock awards and – among other things – personal use of the company aircraft for "security reasons", which cost News Corp just shy of $225,000 for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2011.

A parliamentary hearing by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee takes place tomorrow morning, with the NotW's final editor Colin Myler and ex-NI legal manager Tom Crone appearing before MPs.

Those two men claimed in July that Murdoch junior had been privy to an email with the subject line "for Neville" that contained a transcript of illegally intercepted voicemail messages around the time he signed off a reported settlement payment of £700,000 in 2008.

That sum was paid by News International to Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor, who had filed a damages claim against NotW.

Murdoch the younger has disputed those comments, saying he stood by the testimony he made to the media committee in the company of his dad on 19 July. ®

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