The Metropolitan police have announced that Operation Weeting detectives have “identified a further suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails by a number of employees who worked for the now defunct News of the World newspaper“.
It is said that this suspected conspiracy is believed to have taken place primarily during 2005 to 2006 and is separate from the alleged conspiracy already being investigated by Operation Weeting in which a number of people have been charged.
The charges which the CPS announced on 24 July 2012 relate to an alleged conspiracy between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006 (when private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was arrested). The alleged new conspiracy covers part of the same period but, presumably, involves different journalists.
The police announced that, as part of the new lines of inquiry six people were arrested on Wednesday 13 February 2013 all of them journalists or former journalists. The persons arrested were described as follows:
A 46-year-old man as arrested in the London Borough of Wandsworth; a 39-year-old man was arrested in the London Borough of Greenwich; a 45-year-old man was arrested in the London Borough of Wandsworth; a 39-year-old woman was arrested in Cheshire; a 33-year-old woman was arrested in the London Borough of Islington; and a 40-year-old woman was arrested in the London Borough of Lambeth.
[Update] The arrested journalists have been named as Jules Stenson, Matt Nixson, Rav Singh, Polly Graham, Jane Atkinson and Rachel Richardson. Ms Richardson and Ms Atkinson both now work for the “Sun”
No arrests of private investigators involved in the alleged new conspiracy have been announced.
Mike Darcey, the chief executive of News International, sent an internal memo to staff at the “Sun”confirming the arrests of their colleagues and saying he “shared their concern” about the police action and the pressures that it put on other Sun workers. He said that News International was providing legal help for the two employees.
Operations Weeting, Elevden and Tuleta have now arrested a total of 106 people.