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Phone-hack saga: Cops cuff ex-health worker in pre-dawn swoop

Bloke, 59, quizzed in bung probe

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A 59-year-old ex-healthcare worker was arrested today by cops probing allegations of bribes paid to public officials and police alongside an investigation into phone-hacking by journalists.

The Met said its officers cuffed the suspect at about 6.30am at his home in the Knowsley area of Merseyside, and the property was searched.

The man is being quizzed by officers from the Operation Elveden investigation. He was held on "suspicion of misconduct in a public office, contrary to common law, [and] corruption, contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and suspected conspiracy in relation to both those offences".

Scotland Yard explained the pre-dawn raid came about with the help of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns News International - the British newspaper publisher whose Sunday tabloid News of the World was shuttered in July 2011 after the phone-hacking scandal erupted:

Today's arrest is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee. It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately.

It brings the total number of arrests made under the Op Elveden inquiry to 57 so far. In November last year, Prime Minister David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson and Rupert Murdoch's erstwhile right-hand woman Rebekah Brooks were charged with making corrupt payments relating to allegations of phone-hacking at the now-defunct News of the World Sunday redtop. ®

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