Monday 9 December 2019

Brooks offers to be police witness

Mark Hughes

Rebekah Brooks has contacted Scotland Yard detectives and offered to be interviewed as a witness rather than a suspect in their phone hacking investigation.

It is thought that detectives will speak with Ms Brooks imminently as they continue their investigations into phone hacking and alleged illegal payments to police officers.

Yesterday it was reported that she will be interviewed under caution in the coming days.

But sources at News International said that Ms Brooks, the company's chief executive, has contacted the Metropolitan Police offering to be interviewed as a witness.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that a handful of senior executives at News International have provided witness statements to the investigation team conducting Operation Weeting, the police inquiry into phone hacking.

The source said: "Rebekah has offered to meet with police and help with their enquiries, as have other senior executives, but as witnesses.

Some senior executives have already given witness statements to the police".


Ms Brooks (43) has always maintained she knew nothing about the alleged culture of phone hacking at the 'News of the World', a paper she edited from 2000 to 2003.

Police will be keen to establish whether Ms Brooks knew about or authorised the hacking of mobile phones during her editorship.

Detectives will also ask Ms Brooks whether she authorised the payment of police officers during her time on the paper.

A separate Scotland Yard investigation was set up last week after News International passed emails to the police which reportedly detail alleged payments from the 'News of the World' to serving police officers.

The emails are alleged to date to the period that Andy Coulson was the paper's editor. He was arrested on Friday morning and questioned about payments to police and phone hacking.

Clive Goodman, the paper's former royal editor who was jailed in 2007 after pleading guilty to phone hacking, was also arrested in connection with the payments-to-police investigation.

A 63-year-old man was arrested last Friday night in connection with the same operation. All have been bailed until October.

Irish Independent

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