Sports journalist held over hacking

Detectives investigating newspaper phone hacking arrested a sports journalist in a pre-dawn swoop today, sources said.

Police held Raoul Simons, 35, for questioning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages.



Mr Simons became deputy football editor of The Times in August 2009 but has been on extended leave from his job since September 2010, sources said.



The journalist, who previously worked for the London Evening Standard, was arrested at his home at 5.55am today and interviewed at a north London police station before being bailed until next month.



A spokeswoman for News International, which publishes The Times, said: "News International continues to co-operate fully with the Metropolitan Police Service in its investigation into phone hacking."







Meanwhile, the Guardian confirmed that one of its journalists was interviewed under caution by Scotland Yard over alleged leaks from the police phone hacking investigation.

Amelia Hill, the newspaper's special investigations correspondent, who has broken a string of exclusives about the inquiry, spoke to officers several days ago after a 51-year-old detective constable was arrested and bailed last month.



A Guardian News and Media spokeswoman said: "We can confirm Amelia Hill has been questioned in connection with an investigation into alleged leaks.



"On a broader point, journalists would no doubt be concerned if the police sought to criminalise conversations between off-record sources and reporters."



Dan Roberts, the Guardian's national editor, wrote on Twitter: "Bleak day for journalism when reporter behind vital hacking revelations is criminalised for doing her job."



Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, the police chief in charge of the phone hacking investigation, previously expressed her annoyance over the arrested detective's alleged "unauthorised disclosure".



She has said: "I made very clear when I took on this investigation the need for operational and information security. It is hugely disappointing that this may not have been adhered to."



Detectives investigating phone hacking have arrested a series of high-profile figures, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.



The scandal has already led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years and the resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates.

PA

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