First Sun reporter arrested in police corruption probe - Press Gazette

First Sun reporter arrested in police corruption probe

A senior Sun reporter has been arrested by detectives investigating illegal payments to police officers by journalists at News International.

District editor Jamie Pyatt, 48, has worked for the paper for more than two decades and is based in the Thames Valley.

He is understood to be the first Sun employee to have been held in connection with either of Scotland Yard’s probes into inappropriate police payments or phone hacking.

The reporter, who picked up Front Page of the Year award for The Sun at the 2006 British Press Awards for a story revealing that Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party, was questioned at a south west London police station.

A News International spokeswoman said: “News International can confirm that an employee has been arrested this morning.

“News International is co-operating with the Metropolitan Police in its various investigations.”

The arrest is the sixth to be made in connection with Operation Elveden, the probe into allegations that News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.

Others questioned as part of the inquiry include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson, former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, the paper’s former royal editor Clive Goodman and a 63-year-old man whose identity has not been disclosed.

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are both former editors of the News of the World, which was closed in July at the height of the hacking scandal following revelations that murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was involved.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “At approximately 10.30am today, officers from Operation Elveden arrested a man in connection with allegations of corruption.

“He was arrested at an address outside London on suspicion of corruption allegations in contravention of Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, and is being brought to a south west London police station.”

Operation Elveden was launched in the summer after it emerged that News International handed documents to Metropolitan Police officers investigating phone hacking which indicated illegal payments had been made to police.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Met Commissioner, said in July that evidence from the publisher suggested a small number of officers were involved.

The number of possible hacking victims now stands at 5,795.

Carol Caplin, who worked with former prime minister Tony Blair, is the latest celebrity to emerge as a possible target.

A number of high-profile figures have taken legal action against News International since the scandal emerged.

Victims are now being offered the opportunity to apply for compensation through a scheme launched by the company if they choose not to pursue a claim through the courts.

At a trial in January, a High Court judge is due to hear evidence from a group of “lead claimants” – and any rulings he makes are expected to provide a blueprint for the way other claims are dealt with.