Phone hacking: Four arrested at Mirror Group

Scotland Yard confirmed the arrests. Picture: AFP/Getty
Scotland Yard confirmed the arrests. Picture: AFP/Getty
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A NATIONAL newspaper editor and his deputy were among four journalists arrested yesterday over alleged phone hacking.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said People editor James Scott and deputy Nick Buckley had been held, along with former Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver and the paper’s former deputy editor Mark Thomas.

All four were bailed last night to return to various London police stations on dates in April.

The arrests brought the Mirror Group into the police investigation into alleged phone hacking for the first time.

Scotland Yard said three men, aged 40, 46 and 49, and a 47-year-old woman had been arrested at 6am yesterday morning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications. It said the alleged conspiracy was being treated separately from the two plots being investigated at the now defunct News of the World, and that its inquiry was focused on the Sunday Mirror in 2003 and 2004.

In a statement, the force said detectives working on Operation Weeting, its investigation into phone hacking, had “identified and are investigating a suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails at Mirror Group Newspapers”.

It added: “This conspiracy is being treated as a separate conspiracy to the two being investigated at the now defunct News of the World newspaper. It is believed it mainly concerned the Sunday Mirror newspaper and at this stage the primary focus is on the years 2003 and 2004.”

The suspects were interviewed at various police stations in London while searches were being carried out at a number of addresses.

Officers said they planned to make contact with people they believe to have been victims of the suspected phone hacking.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “We can confirm that James Scott, the editor of the People and his deputy, Nick Buckley, were arrested this morning as part of Operation Weeting. We understand that two former employees were also arrested this morning.

“The police are investigating allegations of phone hacking whilst they were on the Sunday Mirror during 2003 and 2004.”