News of the World editor arrested in UK phone hacking scandal


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A former Los Angeles-based editor of News of the World has been arrested in connection with the British phone hacking scandal.

News of the World show business journalist James Desborough was arrested Thursday on suspicion of intercepting phone communications when he arrived in London for police questioning, The Guardian reports. His arrest is the 13th made in connection with the ongoing investigation that is roiling Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corp., the owner that recently closed the now-defunct British tabloid.


The alleged illegal activity is believed to have occurred before Desborough moved to Southern California in 2009, the Guardian reports. This marks the first time a U.S.-based journalist has been ensnared in the scandal in which News of the World reporters and a former private investigator eavesdropped on cellphone messages left for celebrities, crime victims and soldiers killed in combat.

Desborough is an award-winning celebrity journalist who had once received the British Press Award for show business reporter of the year.

His arrest comes a day after a private investigator once employed by News of the World filed suit against News Corp., according to published reports.

Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator jailed in 2007 for intercepting voice-mail messages while working for News of the World, filed a breach of contract suit against News Corp. Thursday in London, Bloomberg reports. {Updated to correct the timing of the lawsuit.]

Last month, members of Parliament questioned Murdoch, and his son James, over continued payments to a former reporter who was also jailed along with Mulcaire in connection with the phone hacking.

According to Bloomberg, the suit alleges News Corp. stopped paying his legal bills, citing an unidentified person familiar with the suit.



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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski