Global media baron Rupert Murdoch pledged today to not to close The Sun newspaper after five of its staff were arrested this morning in London on suspicion of bribery, according to the BCC.
Eight people were detained in a sweep of arrests in and around today, including a Surrey policeman, a member of the British armed forces and an employee of the Defense Ministry.
Murdoch last year shut down a sister publication, the Sunday tabloid News of the World as its editors were arrested for alleged telephone eavesdropping as part of practices widely reported to involve the bribery of police and other officials.
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In an e-mail to the staff of News International, the newspapers’ parent company, chief executive Tom Mockridge said he was “very saddened” that more arrests had occurred at the paper, according to The Guardian, which carried the full text of Mockridge ‘s message.
“I understand the pressure many of you are under and have the greatest admiration for everyone's continued professionalism,” Mockridge wrote, according to The Guardian. “You should know that I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper."
One employee of The Sun was arrested in November and six four others were briefly detained in January in the widening phone hacking scandal, which has roiled Britain since last year.
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The Agence France-Presse news agency reported today that police have now made 21 arrests as part of Operation Elveden, which has expanded to include official misconduct and corruption in addition to suspected corrupt practices by journalists.
According to the Press Association, those arrested from The Sun were: deputy editor Geoff Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, and John Sturgis, who is a news editor.