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'News of the World' exec bailed after phone hacking arrest

By
Stuart Kuttner

© PA Images

A man, believed to be ex-News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, was released on bail last night after he was arrested in the phone hacking investigation.

The 71-year-old was bailed until later this month after being interviewed by appointment at a London police station.

Earlier in the day, he was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, as well as bribing police officers to leak sensitive information. Police were later seen searching Kuttner's home in Woodford, Essex.

His arrest brought the number of people detained by police in the phone hacking probe to 11, including former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.

The scandal has also prompted News International to shut down the News of the World, the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid at the heart of the allegations.

The Met police investigation into phone hacking is called Operation Weeting, while the probe into allegations of payments made to police is known as Operation Elveden, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

In a statement issued yesterday, a Met spokesman said: "At 10.50am on August 2 officers from Operation Weeting together with officers from Operation Elveden arrested a man 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.

"The male, aged 71, was arrested by appointment at a North London police station. He is currently in custody. The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.

"Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the IPCC. It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time."

Kuttner held various senior roles at the News of the World before he retired in 2009, including acting as the paper's managing editor for 22 years. In the role, he was in charge of all finances at the now-defunct tabloid.

At the time of his retirement, Colin Myler, the last editor of the News of the World, described Kuttner as a man whose "DNA is absolutely integrated into the newspaper which he has represented across the media with vigour".

A spokesman for News International, which owned the News of the World, had earlier said that the company did not know who had been arrested.

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