Ex-News of the World legal chief arrested in phone hacking probe

Former News International Lawyer Tom Crone leaves the Royal Courts of Justice on December 13, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Tom Crone was the top lawyer for News of the World for years
  • His wife says he has "a clear conscience" in relation to the case
  • Police have arrested 25 people in connection with an investigation into phone hacking
  • The News of the World was shuttered last year amid claims of widespread hacking

The former top lawyer for the now-shuttered News of the World newspaper, Tom Crone, was arrested Thursday in London by police investigating phone hacking allegations, his wife confirmed.

The Metropolitan Police said a 60-year-old man was arrested at his home in address in southwest London on Thursday morning but did not name him, in line with UK police practice.

The man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and is being questioned at a south London police station, the police statement said.

Patti Crone told CNN at her home in southwest London that her husband "has a clear conscience" in relation to his arrest in connection with the phone hacking probe, known as Operation Weeting.

The News of the World was closed down by News International, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. empire, in July of last year amid outrage over claims of widespread illegal phone hacking by its staff.

Crone was the best-selling Sunday tabloid's senior legal adviser for many years.

So far, 25 people have been arrested in connection with Operation Weeting. Parallel police inquiries are investigating alleged corrupt payments to police and public officials, and computer hacking.