Four Sun staff bailed over payments to police officers

News International refused to say yesterday whether it had suspended four current and former journalists at The Sun who were arrested on suspicion of making corrupt payments to police.

The paper's crime editor, Mike Sullivan, 48, and head of news, Chris Pharo, 42, were bailed on Saturday night, along with Fergus Shanahan, 56, a senior executive, and Graham Dudman, 48, The Sun's former managing editor who now runs News International's editorial training.

They were questioned by officers from Operation Elveden – Scotland Yard's inquiry into allegations that journalists paid police for information and stories. A 29-year-old police officer was also arrested at the central London station where he works. Scotland Yard said the five had been released pending further inquiries.

The arrests and the ensuing search of The Sun's offices at News International's headquarters in Wapping, east London, was the second time the paper has been targeted by the Elveden investigation. In November, a veteran reporter with The Sun, Jamie Pyatt, was arrested on separate corruption allegations.

A spokeswoman for News International said The Sun was working as normal but declined to comment on whether staff been suspended.