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Phone-hacking: Senior UK cops under probe

Last Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 21:00

London: Two senior British police officials are being investigated for their conduct during a 10-year-old investigation into the alleged hacking of the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

The announcement by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today came soon after the Metropolitan Police revealed that a former employee of the National Health Service (NHS) was arrested in relation to allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

The two senior officials from the Surrey police deputy chief constable Craig Denholm and detective superintendent Maria Woodall were senior investigation officers working on a 2002 probe conducted into the 13-year-old girl`s alleged phone hacking, before the row hit the headlines last summer.

The IPCC said that it was investigating the conduct of Denholm "in relation to his alleged knowledge that Milly Dowler`s mobile phone was illegally accessed by the News of the World (NOTW) in 2002".

Denholm was a Detective Chief Superintendent and the senior investigating officer for part of Operation Ruby, the Surrey Police investigation into the abduction and murder of Dowler in 2002.

"The IPCC investigation is considering whether Mr Denholm was aware during Operation Ruby that the NOTW had accessed Milly Dowler`s voicemail in 2002 and his handling of that information," the IPCC said.

Woodall was a Detective Chief Inspector and the senior investigating officer on Operation Ruby from 2006 onwards.

"The IPCC investigation is examining the information she provided to Surrey Police during the course of the internal inquiry into the force response to allegations that Milly Dowler`s voicemail had been illegally accessed in 2002," the IPCC said.

Meanwhile, the unnamed NHS employee, 31, was the 36th arrest made under Operation Eleveden, which is looking into allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials for information.

The operation is linked to Operation Weeting, which is investigating phone-hacking by journalists.

The latest arrest was made on suspicion of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office, and corruption.

A Scotland Yard statement said: "Officers investigating allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials have arrested a man in Uxbridge this morning (28 June, 2012)".

It added: "The arrest was made at approx 06.00hrs by officers from Operation Elveden which is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and is being run in conjunction with Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemail boxes".

The police said that the arrest was the result of information provided to police by News Corporation`s Management Standards Committee.

It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately, the police added.


First Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 21:00

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