Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage:
Metropolitan police detectives have been busy in the past two days, making further arrests in relation to alleged phone and computer hacking at Rupert Murdoch‘s UK press division. A man believed to be former News International legal exec, Tom Crone, was taken into custody this morning, and Patrick Foster, a former journalist at News Corp.’s UK flagship The Times, was arrested yesterday.
Crone’s arrest has not been confirmed by police, but News Corp.-owned Sky News and other media are reporting he is the 60-year-old man detained this morning. The arrest is understood to have resulted from News International’s Management and Standards Committee turning over information to the police, The Guardian reports. Crone was head of legal at the now-shuttered News Of The World. He resigned when the scandal blew up in July 2011. He is also a key player since he claims to have warned former News International chairman James Murdoch that phone-hacking at the paper was not limited to “one rogue reporter.”
The Times journalist’s arrest stems from his outing an anonymous police blogger in 2009. Both arrests come as Leveson Inquiry chief Lord Justice Brian Leveson has issued a letter to the major UK newspaper groups tipping them to forthcoming rulings from his probe into media ethics. News International is expected to face the brunt of criticism for its role in the phone-hacking scandal. Chris Blackhurst, editor of non-News Corp. broadsheet, The Independent, says the letter is a “damning indictment” of the newspaper industry, adding that Leveson is “loading a gun [against newspapers], and this document – well over 100 pages – is all the ammunition.”