A 2009 picture of Rebekah Brooks arriving at a party in London. Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment via PA Images

Former News of the World editor faces questioning

Rebekah Brooks left her position as editor of the newspaper before the time that a private investigator was hacking phones for the publication.

THE INVESTIGATION INTO illegal news-gathering at the News of the World is ongoing, with the newspaper’s former editor reported to be latest person to be questioned.

Rebekah Brooks is believed to be facing questioning from Scotland Yard through its Operation Weeting, the Guardian is reporting today.

The investigation focuses on the interception of voicemail messages left on phones belonging to prominent people by News of the World journalists.

Operation Weeting is focused on the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for hacking voicemail in January 2007. Brooks left the News of the World in 2003, before the period during which Mulcaire is known to have been hacking phones for the paper.

Mulcaire was jailed along with the paper’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman, in 2007 for conspiracy to access the phone messages of the royal family.

Celebrities who have alleged their phones were tapped include Sienna Miller, actor Steve Coogan, and the former MP George Galloway.

Brooks recently denied to MPs in the UK that she had “knowledge of specific cases” of police officers being paid for information by any newspaper.

However, eight years ago she told MPs that her journalists had paid officers in the past.

Brooks’ own phone was tapped by Scotland Yard in 2004 as part of their investigation into allegations that the paper was paying bribes to police officers, the Guardian reports, but no evidence of her committing an offence was found.

The owners of the News of the World, News International, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, has already apologised to claimants in a number of phone hacking cases. Brooks is currently the chief executive of News International.

Read more in today’s Guardian>