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Ex-tabloid editor faces phone hacking charges
Scandal » Testimony could rock Murdoch empire, prime minister’s career.

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In other developments:

— Two more people were arrested in investigations into the alleged bribery of public officials by tabloid reporters seeking scoops. A 50-year-old man who works for Britain’s Revenue and Customs department was detained on suspicion of misconduct in a public office. A 43-year-old woman was arrested over an allegation of assisting misconduct in a public office and money laundering offenses.

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— Brian Leveson, the judge leading Britain’s media ethics inquiry, said News Corp. lobbyist Frederic Michel and Adam Smith, a former adviser to current Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, will give evidence later this month. Hunt’s handling of a decision on whether News Corp. could be allowed to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting, a satellite broadcaster in which Murdoch’s company already holds a 39-percent stake, has been questioned.

The ethics inquiry has previously published 163 emails sent by Michel that alleged either Hunt or his office had leaked sensitive information to Murdoch’s company and had indicated their support of the News Corp. takeover.

Smith quit following the disclosures, while Hunt denies any wrongdoing. Murdoch dropped the takeover bid for BSkyB in mid-2011.

— Cameron faced questions on a separate front, after Leveson called for more information on security clearances held by communications directors to the British prime minister. That came amid concern over the status of Andy Coulson, an ex-News of The World editor who also previously served as Cameron’s chief press aide.

Coulson wasn’t initially subjected to developed vetting, the highest form of security clearance. Critics suspect that Cameron may have kept Coulson from more stringent vetting amid worries it could expose his involvement in phone hacking. Coulson has been arrested by police but has not been charged with any offense.

Cameron’s office insists the decision was made amid efforts to reduce the number of aides with top security clearances.

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