Metropolitan Police detectives have arrested a senior News International figure, believed to be the News of the World's former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, in connection with phone hacking and corruption allegations.
Police confirmed that a 71-year-old man was being held in custody after being arrested by appointment at 10:50am BST (9:50pm AEST). He was arrested by detectives working on Operation Weeting, the Met's phone-hacking investigation, together with detectives from Operation Elveden, the investigation into allegations of police bribes.
He is being held on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption allegations. It is expected that he will be bailed following questioning.
[UPDATE, 1:30AM BST / 10:30AM AEST | Kuttner was released from custody on Tuesday evening. Police said that he had been bailed until later this month.]
Kuttner was the News of the World's managing editor for twenty-two years before resigning from the post in 2009. He was a key advocate for News International's long-standing position that criminal activities at the News of the World were contained to a single "rogue reporter".
"It happened once at the News of the World. The reporter was fired; he went to prison. The editor resigned," he said during a radio interview in 2008.
Kuttner's resignation from the News of the World in July 2009 came shortly before The Guardian revealed that News International had made a large out-of-court payment to the former Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor to settle a phone-hacking case brought by Taylor.
Giving evidence before the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee on 19 July, the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks said that payments to private investigators at the News of the World were authorised by Kuttner in his capacity as managing editor.
"The payments of private detectives would have gone through the managing editor's office," she stated, adding that she could not recall whether she had discussed specific payments with him.
The latest arrest is the eleventh to be made by Operation Weeting detectives. Other individuals to be arrested and bailed so far include Brooks, the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, and the former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis.
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