Police face clampdown on contact with journalists
Five suspects arrested over allegations of cover-ups in the phone-hacking inquiry - understood to include Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie - have been released on bail, Scotland Yard said.
The News International former chief executive and Charlie Brooks - who has been a friend of the Prime Minister since school - were held on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, sources said.Brooks and her husband were among six people arrested in dawn raids Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
They were arrested vy officers from Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police inquiry into phone-hacking, and their homes were being searched.
Mark Hanna, News International's head of security, was also confirmed by the company as one of the six people arrested in raids in Oxfordshire, London, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said they were bailed to dates next month while the sixth suspect remains in custody. The dawn raid on the Brooks' home is potentially embarrassing for David Cameron, who was forced to make further admissions earlier this month about the extent of his relationship with the couple.
Brooks, who rose from editor to chief executive of News International, the British arm of the Murdoch media empire, was arrested at her Oxfordshire house with her husband Charlie, a millionaire racehorse trainer and columnist for the London Telegraph newspaper.
A Met spokesperson said police consulted the Crown Prosecution Service before conducting the raids. He said: "All six - five men and one woman - were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977. A number of addresses connected to the arrests are being searched."
Brooks was earlier arrested last July on different allegations, of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption. She was then questioned for nine hours before being released on bail.
Brooks had stepped down as chief executive of News International only days before her initial arrest. Last July she presided over the closure of the News of the World, previously Britain's most successful Sunday tabloid, following public outrage over revelations that it had hacked the voicemail of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
The number of arrests by Operation Weeting now stands at 23 and includes Brooks's personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and Neville Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter of the News of the World.
Court documents suggest News of the World reporters asked Mulcaire to intercept voicemails 2226 times over five years, and police last year suggested up to 5800 people might have been hacked. But the company had publicly claimed that the activity was limited to "one rogue reporter" on the paper.