Rebekah Brooks called to UK press ethics inquiry
LONDON – Former News of the World editor and Rupert Murdoch lieutenant Rebekah Brooks will testify next week at Britain's media ethics inquiry, organizers announced Thursday.
Brooks, who resigned in July as head of Murdoch's British newspaper operation, is one of the central figures in the scandal over tabloid phone hacking that is shaking the country and Murdoch's News Corp. She has twice been arrested and questioned by police about illegal eavesdropping and obstruction of justice.
Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry said Brooks will appear May 11. She is likely to be asked about her business and personal ties to senior police officers and politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who became Cameron's communications chief, also will testify next week. He resigned early this year as the scandal intensified.
Detectives investigating allegations of law breaking stemming from the hacking scandal on Thursday arrested a retired London officer on suspicion of misconduct in public office.
During the scandal, journalists allegedly bribed police for information. The 57-year-old former officer had been a member of one of the force's special operations commands, whose duties include protecting members of the royal family and counter terror operations.
Police say Thursday's arrest followed information provided by News International, the media company at the heart of a scandal that began with the hacking of the telephones of celebrities.
The arrest comes amid the judge-led Leveson inquiry, which has lifted the lid on a host of illegal practices, from bribery to computer hacking, at Murdoch's British tabloids.
Cameron set up the Leveson inquiry in July after revelations that the News of the World had hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she disappeared in 2002. Murdoch shut down the newspaper amid widespread public revulsion over the hacking.
(This version CORRECTS Adds details, corrects day of week to Thursday. This story is part of AP's general news and financial services.)