Rebekah Brooks, who resigned Friday as News International's chief executive amid the News of the World phone hacking scandal, has reportedly been arrested.
The Metropolitan police said only that a 43-year-old woman was arrested at noon on Sunday, by appointment at a London police station, the Guardian reports.
Brooks, 43, is the former editor of News of the World, the tabloid embroiled in allegations of phone hacking and of bribing police officers to leak sensitive information.
She was close to Rupert Murdoch and the prime minister, David Cameron.
(GlobalPost reports: With News Corp. resignations come hefty severance packages)
News International is a subsidiary of News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper business, and according to Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici, the arrest of Brooks:
"raises obvious questions about what the company may have learned about her last week that it didn’t know the week before, when Murdoch initially refused to accept her resignation. And it raises similar questions about Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton, who also resigned on Friday, and who also played a large role in the phone hacking affair, having given misleading testimony to Parliament about the extent of illegal activity during his own tenure as News International CEO."
Hinton, a close Murdoch confidant and publisher of one of Murdoch's most-valued American acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal, stepped down because of his tenure at the helm of News International from 1997 to 2005, a time period when much of the phone hacking was going on.
That paper reported Brooks' arrest Sunday, acknowledging that it was "the 10th arrest by police in a dual probe investigating allegations of voicemail interceptions and corrupt payments to police."
The arrest comes just two days before Brooks, Murdoch and his son James are due to answer questions from a British parliamentary committee investigating the phone hacking allegations.
Brooks was to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport committee on Tuesday, but an NPR report suggests that Brooks would not have to answer questions that could prejudice a criminal investigation.