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New arrests in News of the World phone-hacking probe

Anger over the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone led Rupert Murdoch to close 168-year-old News of the World in July 2011.

Story highlights

  • Six current or former journalists are arrested in connection with alleged phone hacking
  • Police say the alleged phone-hacking conspiracy is separate from one already being probed
  • London's Metropolitan Police is running three investigations into alleged wrongdoing
  • Rupert Murdoch shut down the News of the World after the scandal broke in 2011

Six people were arrested Wednesday in what London's Metropolitan Police is calling a separate phone-hacking conspiracy at Rupert Murdoch's defunct News of the World newspaper.

All of them are journalists or former journalists, police said.

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Dozens of people, including Murdoch protégé Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, a former adviser to prime Minister David Cameron, already have been arrested and several have been charged with phone hacking and related crimes.

Police say Wednesday's arrests are part of a separate conspiracy to hack phones, primarily from 2005 to 2006, at the News of the World.

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    Three men and two women were arrested in London and one woman in Cheshire, in northern England.

    Searches are being carried out at several addresses, police said.

    "In due course officers will be making contact with people they believe have been victims of the suspected voicemail interceptions," a police statement said.

    Murdoch closed the Sunday tabloid, one of the world's best-selling English-language newspapers, in 2011 over the phone-hacking scandal.

    Three police investigations were created to look into allegations of phone hacking, bribery of public officials and computer hacking.

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    Brooks and Coulson are both former News of the World editors. Brooks later became chief executive of News International, a UK subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp. empire. Coulson went on to become Cameron's director of communications before resigning early in 2011.

    The hacking scandal prompted Cameron to set up an independent, judge-led inquiry -- named for Lord Justice Leveson, its chairman -- to make recommendations on journalistic ethics and examine the relationship of the press with the public, police and politicians.

        The hacking scandal

      • Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson arrives at the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey court in London on January 27, 2014.

        Britain's phone-hacking scandal has seen former tabloid editor Andy Coulson move from the newsroom into the full glare of its spotlight.
      • How did phone hacking grow into a scandal that threatened Rupert Murdoch's hold on his global media business? Track all the major events.
      • Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception during a visit to Centrepoint's Camberwell Foyer on December 21, 2011 in London, England. The national charity, Centrepoint, provides housing and support to improve the lives of homeless young people aged 16-25. (Photo by Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

        The phone hacking trial revealed much about the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch's sex-and-scandal tabloids.
      • Rupert Murdoch (R) his wife Wendi Deng (C) and son Lachlan (L) leave their London home on April 26.

        Media expert Brian Cathcart says Fleet St. has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its usual message: leave us alone.
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      • The Leveson inquiry is a British government-backed inquiry into illegal eavesdropping and bribery by journalists. Read the final report by Lord Leveson.