Murdoch flying to UK after Sun arrests: Sources

Last Updated: Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 20:53

London: Rupert Murdoch will fly to London
this week to meet journalists at The Sun after five senior
staff at his flagship British tabloid was arrested over
bribery allegations, sources said on Sunday.

Publisher News International said Murdoch had given a
"personal assurance" that The Sun would not face the same fate
as its sister paper, the News of the World, which he closed in
July amid a scandal over phone hacking.

The US-based media tycoon will come to London "later in
the week", a person familiar with the matter said, adding
that Murdoch`s visit had already been planned before the
arrests happened.

Another source close to the matter said he would meet
with journalists at The Sun, Britain`s biggest selling
newspaper.

News International would not comment on Murdoch`s trip,
and the Australian-born magnate himself has not made any
comment on the matter.

But in an email to staff after the yesterday`s arrests,
News International chief executive Tom Mockridge said that
Murdoch would stand by The Sun in the hour of its "greatest
challenge".

"You should know that I have had a personal assurance
today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to
continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper," Mockridge
said.

The arrested Sun journalists were deputy editor Geoff
Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay,
chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker and reporter John
Sturgis, News International said.

A Ministry of Defence official, a member of the armed
forces and a policeman were also arrested over allegations
that journalists paid officials for information, police said.

They were held as part of a widening Scotland Yard probe
into alleged corrupt payments by journalists to police and
public officials in exchange for information.

Murdoch flew over to London in a hail of publicity when
the hacking scandal broke. Within days the 168-year-old News
of the World was shut down.

British media reported that many journalists at The Sun
were furious over the so-called "witch-hunt", and at the fact
that News Corp. had handed over the information to police that
led to the arrests.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 20:53

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