Rebekah Brooks, former chief of U.K. newspaper operations for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS), was arrested Tuesday at her home in rural England as investigations into phone hacking at the company continue, news reports said.
Brooks, a Murdoch protege, and her racehorse trainer husband, Charlie, were arrested at their Oxfordshire home early Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported. Four other people were also arrested.
Tuesday's arrest was part of Operation Weeting, a nationwide investigation into allegations of illegal interception of mobile-phone voicemails of public and private figures by employees at News Corp. unit News International.
It was the second time Rebekah Brooks, who had been out on bail, has been arrested in the case. In July, police questioned her about the phone-hacking and alleged bribery of police officials linked to those accusations. Brooks hasn't been charged with a crime. Days earlier, she had been forced to resign as News International CEO. Brooks was editor in chief of the Sun and the now-shuttered News of the World, the two tabloids at the center of the scandal.
She and her husband were among six people arrested Tuesday and whose homes were being searched, according to reports. The four others are all men between the ages 38 and 48, according to Scotland Yard, London's metropolitan police force.
Tuesday's arrests bring the total number of arrested under Operation Weeting to 23.
It was the first time Charlie Brooks, a horse trainer who studied at the elite private school Eton, has been arrested in the scandal, according to News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal. He is also a friend of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been criticized for being too close to both News Corp. officials and the Brookses.
Last year, Cameron's top communications aide, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, resigned from his government post and was arrested in connection with the phone-hacking probe, the Journal noted. Coulson hasn't been charged. Both Coulson and Rebekah Brooks have denied wrongdoing.