Former News Int'l CEO bailed as Britain's top police officer quits

08:39, July 19, 2011      

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Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of British newspaper arm News International, was released on bail early Monday hours after she was arrested over phone-hacking scandals.

Brooks was bailed to appear at a London police station in late October, the Metropolitan police said in a statement.

The 43-year-old former executive went to a London police station by appointment on Sunday and was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption allegations.

A few hours after Brooks' arrest, Britain's Metropolitan Police chief Paul Stephenson quit his job amid the escalating phone-hacking scandals.

"I have this afternoon informed the Palace, Home Secretary and the Mayor of my intention to resign as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service," said Stephenson in a statement.

Stephenson was criticized for hiring former News of the World Deputy Editor Wallis as a media consultant, who was questioned by police investigating phone hacking.

Stephenson had also allegedly spent time on a luxurious health farm where Wallis was working as a PR consultant after an operation on his leg before Christmas.

Stephenson said there were lessons to be learned from the issue, but he was leaving with his integrity intact.

"I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met's links with News International at a senior level," said Stephenson. "In particular in relation to Mr Neil Wallis who as you know was arrested in connection with Operation Weeting last week."

Home Secretary Theresa May said she was "sorry" that Stephenson had resigned and thanked him for his work. May said earlier that she would address MPs on Monday about her "concerns" over the closeness of the relationship between News International and police.

The News of The World allegedly hacked up to 4,000 phones including that of murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler.

Source: Xinhua
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