Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Prison officer quizzed by police

Police arrested a prison officer after receiving information from News Corp

A prison officer has been arrested by detectives investigating alleged corrupt payments to public officials, Scotland Yard has said.

The 40-year-old man was held at around 8.30am on Monday at his home in Sittingbourne, Kent, on suspicion of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.

He is currently being questioned and his home is being searched.

The arrest is a result of information passed to police by News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee. It brings the number of people held under Operation Elveden, the inquiry into alleged inappropriate payments, to 58.

Of those arrested under Elveden, eight people have or will face court proceedings and two - a retired police officer and a former journalist - have been told they will face no further action.

Last week, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that ex-Metropolitan Police constable Paul Flattley and The Sun's defence editor, Virginia Wheeler, will face a charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. It is alleged that the officer was paid at least £4,000 in cheques and £2,450 in cash in exchange for information.

Allegations have also been made against former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 44, Sun chief reporter John Kay, 69, and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan-Barber, 39.

It is alleged that Brooks, from Oxfordshire, and Kay, from north-west London, conspired to pay Jordan-Barber, from Shrivenham, near Swindon, Wiltshire, around £100,000 for information.

Prime Minister David Cameron's former spin doctor, Andy Coulson, and former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman are charged with conspiracy to pay for information including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".

All five are due to appear at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing on March 8.

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