Rebekah Brooks, former News of the World editor and News International chief executive, was arrested on Sunday by British police investigating the paper's phone-hacking allegations, Guardian reports. Britain’s Press Association news agency said Brooks was arrested by appointment at a London police station at approximately midday and remains in custody, according to the New York Times. The Metropolitan police released the following statement regarding the basis for her arrest:
At approximately 12.00 a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting [phone hacking investigation] together with officers from Operation Elveden [bribing of police officers investigation]. She is currently in custody.
She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
Brooks' PR representative gave out the following statement regarding her arrest:
Rebekah is assisting the police with their enquiries. She attended a London police station voluntarily. It was a pre-arranged appointment. We are unable to comment further as it is an ongoing police investigation.
However, her arrest has been called "unusual" by Guardian, particularly considering that she was due to give evidence before Metropolitan police on the culture select committee on Tuesday, along with Rupert and James Murdoch. Guardian also notes that BBC's business correspondent Robert Peston has just tweeted: "News Int sources say they had no inkling Rebekah Brooks would be arrested when discussing her resignation last week".
UK Editor Keir Simmons at ITV News also tweeted: "Source tells me Rebekah Brooks was not told in advance that she would be arrested." He added that "To be clear, Brooks saw police for questioning by appointment, what I'm told is that she wasn't told in advance she would be arrested...That said, she was offering to just provide a statement... So when she learnt she would be questioned it would have increased pressure."