Socialist Worker

Murdoch scandal spreads to the Sun

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2288

Four employees of the Sun newspaper were arrested as part of the ongoing corruption scandal over News International (NI) and the Metropolitan Police last week. One police officer was also arrested.

The NI employees are Mike Sullivan, Graham Dudman, Fergus Shanahan and Chris Pharo.

Fourteen people have so far been arrested under Operation Elveden, which is investigating corrupt payments from Rupert Murdoch’s empire to police.

Police also questioned the firm’s former chief executive Rebekah Brooks and David Cameron’s ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson.

There has been a spate of allegations that cops took cash from journalists. For instance, at a drive-through McDonald’s in east London, News of the World journalists would hand over wads of cash to officers in return for information.

It is claimed that during 2003, over £100,000 was handed over to just five police officers.

But the story goes beyond cash-filled brown envelopes or even the Murdoch newspapers.

It encompasses the unholy alliance between the police, the media and the political establishment. Top cops knew about the bribes, as did senior politicians.

Take Jonathan Rees, a private investigator employed by the News of the World.

His name became known after a long‑running investigation into the axe‑murder of his business partner. Rees was found innocent in March last year.

He was paid up to £150,000 a year by the News of the World, and more by other newspapers, to supply information illegally obtained via a network of

corrupt cops.

A raft of police officers took money to get stories for the tabloids. Police corruption is at the heart of the hacking scandal.


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News
Sat 4 Feb 2012, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2288
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