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Sun hacks cuffed after being DOBBED IN by News Corp

MoD staffer, a copper, armed forces member held too

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Scotland Yard released five Sun journalists on bail at the weekend after they arrested the hacks on suspicion of corruption and aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

The latest round of arrests at Rupert Murdoch's flagship tabloid brings the total number of people cuffed at that newspaper to nine.

The Met also swooped on a 39-year-old serving police officer, a 39-year-old woman working for the Ministry of Defence and a 36-year-old man holding down a job in the Armed Forces.

All three were also arrested and later bailed on suspicion of the same offences as the Sun journalists.

The senior reporters arrested by police are all male and aged between 45 and 68. Their homes and offices were rifled through by clue-hunting cops.

News International, which publishes The Sun and axed its News of the World Sunday tab last year, said its standards committee had dobbed in the five journalists to Scotland Yard officers. News Int is owned by Murdoch's News Corp, which had this to say:

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers from Operation Elveden today arrested five employees of The Sun newspaper. Searches have taken place at the homes and offices of those arrested.

The Management and Standards Committee (MSC) provided the information to the Elveden investigation which led to today's arrests.

The MSC have provided the option of immediate legal representation to those arrested.

News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities.

The MSC will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege.

News Corporation maintains its total support to the on-going work of the MSC and is committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law.

That Op Elveden investigation into alleged illegal payments to police officers in exchange for information is being undertaken in tandem with a probe into phone-hacking claims at the NotW - Operation Weeting - and another - Operation Tuleta - looking at alleged breaches of privacy including computer hacking.

The 39-year-old officer who works for Surrey police was let out on bail and asked to return for further questioning in March. The remaining seven people arrested on 11 February were bailed with a return date of May.

Meanwhile, pressure had already begin to mount on Murdoch although News International chief executive Tom Mockridge told his employees that the media biz baron had pledged his "total commitment" to continue to own and publish The Sun. Last summer NotW was closed after revelations came to light about alleged phone-hacking carried out by employees working for the Sunday tabloid.

It's understood Murdoch will be flying into Blighty at some point this week for crisis talks with NI management to discuss his beloved redtop. ®

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