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Yard's Dick Fedorcio ordered home

Another former News of the World executive has been arrested over phone hacking as it emerged Scotland Yard's communications chief had been sent home after an allegation of gross misconduct over the scandal.

As senior journalist Greg Miskiw, 61, was being questioned the force announced its director of public affairs Dick Fedorcio had been ordered to serve a "period of extended leave".

Mr Fedorcio is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over his relationship with hacking suspect Neil Wallis.

Mr Miskiw, who has been living in the US since leaving a senior editorial post at News International, remained in custody tonight after visiting a London police station by appointment at midday.

He told reporters last month he was planning to return to the UK to meet officers.

The IPCC has told Mr Fedorcio that the investigation will examine whether he has committed any act of gross misconduct surrounding a contract the force gave to Mr Wallis's PR firm.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "To allow Mr Fedorcio to prepare for the IPCC investigation it has been agreed that he can work from home on a period of extended leave until the matter is resolved.

"Mr Fedorcio also accepts that it would be inappropriate for him to continue to come into the office whilst there was an ongoing investigation and until other directorate of public affairs staff had been interviewed."

Commissioner's chief of staff Caroline Murdoch will take over his duties in the interim.

Mr Miskiw is believed to have left the recently-axed Sunday tabloid in 2005 before moving to Florida after a spell in Manchester.

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