Former managing editor of the News of the World Stuart Kuttner is understood to have been released on bail after being arrested and questioned yesterday by police investigating phone-hacking at the News of the World.
Police have not named the 71-year-old man who was arrested by the Operation Weeting team yesterday. But The Guardian yesterday named him as Kuttner and other news outlets have followed suit.
It is the 11th arrest as part of Scotland Yard’s Operation Weeting inquiry.
Kuttner retired in July 2009 after 22 years as News of the World managing editor. He joined the paper from the Evening Standard in 1980.
Kuttner’s departure from the News of the World in July 2009 coincided with The Guardian’s first story detailing new allegations about phone-hacking at the paper (the announcement was made on the same day).
News International insisted at the time that there was no connection between the two events.
At the time of his exit, NoW editor Colin Myler said: “Stuart has been an outstanding managing editor. His knowledge, experience and attention to detail is beyond compare in the industry.
“I am delighted he has agreed to continue working with us. He has been a major driving force behind the success of Sarah’s Law, indeed his powerful negotiating skills has been a significant factor in the government ntroducing 14 new pieces of legislation in the past nine years.
“That is a huge compliment to him. His DNA is absolutely integrated into the newspaper which he has represented across the media with vigour. I will continue to value his wise counsel.”
Scotland Yard said in a statement yesterday: “The 71-year old man arrested this morning, Tuesday 2 August, by Operation Weeting together with officers from Operation Elveden has been released on bail to a date later this month (August) pending further enquiries.
“The man had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
“The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.
“Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the IPCC.
“It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time.”
Others arrested as part of the Weeting probe include: former News of the Word editor Andy Coulson, former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis, former NoW head of news Ian Edmondson, former NoW chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant news editor James Weatherup and former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman. An un-named 63-year-old man and a 39-year-old freelance journalist named as Terenia Taras have also been arrested as part of the Weeting inquiry.
Press Association reporter Laura Elston was mistakenly arrested by police and since been cleared.
No-one has yet been charged as a result of Operation Weeting.