Journalist bailed following phone hacking arrest

Scotland Yard
Image caption Operation Tuleta is investigating computer hacking

A journalist arrested by police probing the alleged hacking of stolen mobile phones has been bailed, officers say.

The man, 33, held after an appointment at a south London police station on Friday, will return in November.

He is suspected of offences under the Theft Act, Computer Misuse Act and on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In a separate development, a lawyer says publisher News International faces up to 300 civil claims for hacking.

Scotland Yard said the latest arrest related to an alleged conspiracy to access information on stolen mobile phones.

It is the 12th arrest made by Met police officers working on the Operation Tuleta inquiry into computer hacking and other privacy breaches.

It is being run alongside two other operations - Elveden, which is looking at alleged corrupt payments to public officials, and Weeting, which is looking at alleged phone hacking.

There have been 25 arrests made so far under Weeting, and 43 under Elveden.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is overseeing the inquiries, revealed this week that the three investigations could cost £40m over four years.

Footballer and singer

Meanwhile, at the High Court on Friday, Hugh Tomlinson QC, lawyer for some phone hacking victims, updated information about civil cases to Mr Justice Vos.

Sixty-eight claims had been lodged, and 40 more were likely to be added before the 14 September deadline, Mr Tomlinson said.

In addition, 124 people had been accepted into the compensation scheme set up by News International, parent company of News Group Newspapers.

The total number of claims - including both civil cases and compensation cases - was expected to be fewer than 300, he told the court.

Former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona, her ex-husband Brian McFadden and footballer Sol Campbell were among the latest people to issue phone-hacking damages claims.

Mr Tomlinson also said that 395 people - including the 124 accepted onto the News International compensation scheme - had applied to the Metropolitan Police for disclosure.

There will be another three-day case management hearing on 25 September.

The court will also sit on 10 October to consider News International's attempt to strike out the claim brought by Mary-Ellen Field, former adviser to model Elle Macpherson, on the basis that no phone interception took place.

Damages have already been paid to some victims, with singer Charlotte Church and her parents agreeing to damages and costs of £600,000 with News Group Newspapers.

Comedian Steve Coogan has also received 40,000, ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne £68,000 and MP Simon Hughes £45,000 plus costs.

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