Metropolitan Police have arrested Stuart Kuttner, a 71-year old man that was the public face of now-closed News of the World and the previous managing editor between 1987 and 2009. Kuttner wasn’t aware that he was being taken into custody after arriving at a London police station earlier today. He was taken into custody jointly by officers from two task forces. Operation Weeting is looking into criminal charges around phone hacking and Operation Elveden is going after bribery attempts made in the hacking scandal. While police searched the former editor’s home in Woodford, Essex, Kuttner went under intensive questioning by the police and was released on bail later in the day.
Kuttner was arrested on the same charges there were brought against Rebekah Brooks, another former editor of the News of the World. Kuttner’s most prominent task during his time at News of the World included controlling the budget of the tabloid. Kuttner approved all cash or check payments in the organization, including consistent payments to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was recently put in jail for phone hacking for allegedly breaking into the phone of Sara Payne. Mulcaire claims he was only following orders from officials at News of the World.
This advance in criminal charges against another one of Rupert Murdoch’s former employees comes after news broke that News of the World approached a private investigator to hack the phones of victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. In addition, New York Post employees have been ordered not to “destroy, discard, alter, or change any potentially relevant documents” in regards to more phone hacking attempts or bribery of public officials. In a related story today, the man who shoved a foam pie into Murdoch’s face at the phone hacking parliamentary hearings as sentenced to six weeks in jail after pleading guilty to assault.