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Hacking arrests: six freed on bail

Six suspects arrested over allegations of cover-ups in the phone-hacking inquiry - understood to include Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband - have been released on bail, Scotland Yard said.

The News International former chief executive and Charlie Brooks - who has been a friend of the Prime Minister since school - were held on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, sources said.

Mark Hanna, News International's head of security, was also confirmed by the company as one of the six people arrested in raids in Oxfordshire, London, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.

All six suspects were later bailed to dates next month.

The dawn raid on the Brooks' home is potentially embarrassing for David Cameron, who was forced to make further admissions earlier this month about the extent of his relationship with the couple.

After it emerged that Scotland Yard lent an ex-police horse, Raisa, to Mrs Brooks, the Prime Minister conceded it had been among his mounts on rides with Mr Brooks - a friend from their Eton schooldays.

Officers from Operation Weeting - the inquiry into voicemail interceptions - said they consulted the Crown Prosecution Service before carrying out their busiest morning of arrests since the operation was launched last year.

Mrs Brooks, 43, was questioned at an Oxfordshire police station while Mr Brooks, 49, was interviewed at a Buckinghamshire police station. Searches were carried out at several addresses after a 39-year-old man was arrested in Hampshire, a 46-year-old man was held in west London, a 38-year-old man was arrested in Hertfordshire and a 48-year-old man was detained at a business address in east London, and were also interviewed at separate police stations.

After five of the suspects were released on bail, the 38-year-old man remained in custody at a central London police station but was later released after questioning.

The arrests, which are not understood to result from information passed to them by News Corporation's management and standards committee, come just days after Mrs Brooks's lawyer Stephen Parkinson said evidence given by Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers at the Leveson Inquiry brought "much prejudicial material" into the public domain.


From Belfast Telegraph