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Police make new arrest in UK phone hacking inquiry
LONDON (AP) - British police made a new arrest Thursday in the country’s tabloid phone hacking scandal, while an actress and her ex-soccer player husband announced they had agreed to a settlement with the now-shuttered News of The World tabloid.
Police in London confirmed a 38-year-old man, who they declined to name, was arrested at a London police station after he arrived voluntarily Thursday. He is the 13th person to be arrested so far in the saga _ only one of those arrested has already been cleared.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported the man was James Desborough, formerly the Los Angeles-based U.S. editor for the News of the World. The newspaper claimed that his arrest was related to activities that took place before he moved to the United States.
“We are fully cooperating with the police investigation and we are unable to comment further on matters due to ongoing police investigations,” News International said in an e-mailed statement.
In a separate development, lawyers for British television actress Leslie Ash and former soccer player Lee Chapman confirmed they had resolved their legal action against the News of The World.
The tabloid’s parent company had “agreed to pay our family an appropriate sum by way of compensation and costs and it has apologized for the harm and distress it has caused us,” the couple said in a statement.
But the couple indicated they now plans to sue other British newspapers over allegations that their phone messages _ and those of their children _ may have been illegally accessed.
“We remain concerned that the practices complained of against NGN (News Group Newspapers) are likely to have been prevalent within a number of other media publishers, and we will be instructing our lawyer … to take action against other newspapers in due course,” they said.
Ash and Chapman had been the subject of frequent tabloid stories after the actress suffered health problems and won a then-record 5 million pounds ($8.25 million) compensation payment from a London hospital after contracting an infection during treatment there.
The couple said they believed that their messages were intercepted in 2004 while Ash was recovering in the hospital.
Already, the disclosure earlier this week of new documents in the phone hacking case has piled pressure on Murdoch’s empire.
Correspondence published Tuesday by British lawmakers investigating the scandal suggested that executives were warned more than four years ago that phone hacking was endemic at the News of the World. The company had previously insisted the practice was not widespread.
The charges were made in a 2007 letter written by Clive Goodman, a former journalist with the now-defunct tabloid whose jailing in 2007 on phone hacking charges first brought the practice into the spotlight.
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