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Feb 12, 2012

British police arrest five at Murdoch's Sun newspaper

Coconucumo _ | Feb 12, 2012

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LONDON(Reuters) - British police threw Rupert Murdoch's scandal-hit News Corporation into fresh turmoil on Saturday by arresting five senior staff at the top-selling daily The Sun in a probe into journalists paying police for tip-offs.

The move is part of a wider investigation into illegal news gathering practices that has rocked Britain's political, media and police establishments and last year prompted the closure of the Sun's sister Sunday title, the News of the World.

Saturday's arrests came after the company passed information to the police, a move that infuriated staff and sparked talk of a witch hunt amongst journalists by a proprietor who previously celebrated their work.

Murdoch is due in London next week and is set to meet staff, a source familiar with the situation said.

Four current and former Sun staff had already been arrested last month, and the latest detentions raise questions about the viability of Britain's best selling daily.

News International chief executive Tom Mockridge sent a memo to staff saying: "I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish the Sun newspaper."

Sun editor Dominic Mohan said he was "as shocked as anyone by today's arrests" but determined to keep fulfilling the paper's "duty to serve our readers". More of this report on Reuters.


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