UPDATE: Police are reportedly examining a bag containing a laptop and a phone dumped in a bin near the London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former News International executive who was arrested over the weekend.
The Guardian reports that the bag was found in an underground car park and turned over to security Monday afternoon. Shortly after, Brooks’ husband, Charlie, arrived to try to reclaim the bag but security refused and instead turned the bag over to police.
Through a spokesman, Brooks’ husband told the paper that the bag and its contents belonged to him, and that he had left them with a friend who accidentally dropped them off in the wrong part of the garage. Maintenance staff “thought it was rubbish and put it in the bin,” according to the spokesman.
Police are now examining security footage taken in the garage to uncover who dropped the bag in the bin, according to the report.
Rebekah Brooks resigned last week as the CEO of News International, the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
Original Post Sunday at 11:25 a.m.: Rebekah Brooks has been arrested in connection with an investigation into phone hacking and bribery at News Corp’s News of the World.
The 43-year-old Brooks, who on Friday resigned as chief executive of the shuttered paper’s parent company News International, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and corruption, and turned herself in to a London police station, according to the BBC. She was the tenth person to be arrested in the investigation.
Though Brooks went to the station voluntarily, her spokesperson told the Associated Press that she wasn't aware she would be arrested.
The ex-chief is scheduled to go before a committee of British Parliament this week that is investigating the allegations of hacking and bribery. But the arrest throws her planned testimony into uncertainty, because she wouldn’t have to answer questions from the committee that might sway the separate criminal investigation.
Meanwhile Scotland Yard is reeling from revelations about the cozy relations between top police officials and employees at News of the World. The Washington Post reports:
“At stake is the prestige of a 182-year-old force, with an independent inquiry set to probe corruption and mismanagement at all levels of the institution and threatening the jobs of top officials at a time when they are gearing up for a massive operation for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The scandal centers on allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid for years used illegal methods for newsgathering, including passing fat envelopes of cash to officers and tapping into the private messages of thousands of British citizens …”
Brooks has maintained that she had no knowledge of the phone hacking and alleged police bribery that brought News International to its knees in recent weeks, but she was editor of News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when the phone of a young girl, Milly Dowler, was hacked.
In her statement of resignation released Friday, Brooks said:
“My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.”