Greg Miskiw, the former News of the World executive named in Parliament as one of several "gatekeepers" on the paper authorised to order phone hacking, said yesterday he will return to Britain from Florida and face questioning by police.
The news came as a senior editor at The Sun, Matt Nixson, was summarily fired in relation to his previous work at the NOTW.
Within News International the sacking was seen as being linked to comments made by Rebekah Brooks before her own resignation that "worse is to come" for former staff of the NOTW. Journalists also connected the timing of the sacking to the statement released by former executives Colin Myler and Tom Crone.
Mr Nixson was popular within Wapping and regarded as a dedicated journalist whose name had not previously been mentioned in relation to the hacking affair. His Twitter account picture is an avatar of a man reading The Times and he describes himself proudly as a "red-top hack".
It is understood that prior to becoming a successful features editor on the paper under its last editor, Mr Myler, he worked for a short period on the NOTW's news desk, working with Ian Edmondson, who was arrested in January by police investigating phone hacking.
Meanwhile, police asked Ms Brooks' husband, Charlie, for the passwords for two computers belonging to him that were found near the couple's house on Monday, as officers sought to find out if they contain any evidence related to the hacking investigation.
Mr Miskiw, 61, who was revealed on Wednesday to have spent recent months living in the resort of Palm Beach, told reporters outside his rented flat that his solicitor had been in contact with Scotland Yard for "some time" and that he expected to fly back to London "momentarily".
Officers from Operation Weeting, the Yard's investigation into the phone-hacking scandal, are understood to have been wanting to speak to Mr Miskiw since shortly after the launch of the new inquiry in January. He left Britain last year and his whereabouts were not publicly known until this week, when he was tracked down in a leafy neighbourhood close to the beach. Confronted yesterday by reporters, Mr Miskiw declined to answer questions about whether he had authorised hacking prior to leaving the NOTW in 2005.