Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sunday Mirror crime reporter and Daily Star Sunday deputy news editor arrested

Scotland Yard said a 37-year man was detained at his home
in Kent and a 34-year-old man also arrested in connection
with Operation Elveden

-Dailymail
Two journalists arrested by detectives investigating corrupt payments to public officials have been released on bail, Scotland Yard said.Justin Penrose, crime correspondent of the Sunday Mirror, and Tom Savage, deputy news editor of the Daily Star Sunday, were questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.The latest arrests mean 41 people have been arrested by detectives on Operation Elveden, the investigation into suspected corrupt payments to public officials.It is being run alongside Operation Weeting, the Scotland Yard probe into phone hacking.
Both men were held at separate police stations and have been bailed to a date in October pending further inquiries, police said.A Yard spokesman said yesterday: 'A 37-year-old man was arrested at his home in Kent and a 34-year-old man at his home in south-east London at approximately 6am this morning, on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt (contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906) and of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office (Contrary to Common Law). 'The two, both journalists, were taken to police stations in Kent and south-east London.'Both have now been bailed to return pending further inquiries to the same police stations on dates in October.'


Penrose has been with the Sunday Mirror since 2004, when he joined as a general news reporter. He was promoted to the position of full-time crime correspondent in January 2006.Trinity Mirror said officers searched Mr Penrose's desk yesterday morning and took away 'various items', including his computer. A spokesman said: 'Following a prearranged meeting at 11am, the police now have in their possession various items from Justin Penrose's desk, including his computer. 'There is no further comment to make at this stage.' In evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, Mr Penrose said the newspaper never paid police for stories.


In a written statement, addressing the question of what ethical issues need to be held in mind by a journalist communicating with the police, he said: 'The main ethical issue is that we never pay police officers for stories or seek to put the police in a position where they feel that they should provide information to us in exchange for anything that they consider that they are getting from us.' He also warned that there was a 'climate of fear' stopping officers talking to the Press.He wrote: 'I believe that officers should be allowed to speak to the Press about their cases without the fear that they are going to be accused of corruption. At the moment there is a climate of fear in which officers are too scared to talk to the Press.'


The other suspect was Daily Star Sunday deputy news editor Tom Savage, who was shown on a GPS locator on his website at East Dulwich police station in south-east London this morning. The pair are being questioned at separate police stations on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office, the Met said. A spokesman said: 'Today's arrests relate to suspected payments to a public official and are not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately.'


The latest arrests mean 41 people have been arrested by detectives on Operation Elveden, the investigation into suspected corrupt payments to public officials.
The operation is being run alongside Operation Weeting, the Scotland Yard probe into phone-hacking. The Met spokesman said: 'A 37-year-old man was arrested at his home in Kent and a 34-year-old man at his home in south-east London at approximately 6am this morning on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt (contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906) and of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office (contrary to common law). 'The two, both journalists, are being questioned at police stations in Kent and south-east London.' It comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer revealed more than a dozen former News of the World journalists will find out by the end of this month if they face phone hacking charges Keir Starmer says he is 'reasonably confident' the Crown Prosecution Service will make a final decision on the 14 suspects within weeks.


Journalists arrested and bailed include former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, who may have directed or allowed their staff to intercept mobile phone voicemails.Former assistant editor Ian Edmondson, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and managing editor Stuart Kuttner were also arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police's hacking operation, known as Weeting.Starmer told the Guardian that alleged phone hacking cases would be dealt with as 'a batch' meaning that the fate of those allegedly involved will be dramatically announced on the same day this month. Any hacking charges would be the first brought since 2007.


The News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were then jailed for four months and six months respectively for intercepting messages from members of the royal family and their staff.Prosecutors are currently using a 'broad interpretation' of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), Starmer said, which will allow journalists to be charged with hacking even if the person had listened to the voicemail first.


Former Met assistant commissioner John Yates had said previously it was not clear if someone could be prosecuted if a message had already been played back.
Starmer also told the Guardian that alternative charges would also be considered 'in so far as it was necessary,' including conspiring to intercept communications and computer hacking.He added that the 'public interest' test was being applied to every case.If the person allegedly being hacked had acted with 'serious hypocrisy', like having an affair for example, this will also be considered, he said.

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