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Journalist held in hacking investigation

04:04 Fri Dec 7 2012
AAP

A journalist has been arrested as part of the British police investigation into claims of corrupt payments to public officials.

The 38-year-old woman is the 53rd person held under Operation Elveden, which is running alongside Scotland Yard's phone-hacking investigation.

She was held at her home in Sussex at 6.30am local time on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and suspicion of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office, police said on Thursday.

The reporter was bailed to return to a Sussex police station in March.

Her arrest came on the back of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee, which was set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The 38-year-old woman, a journalist, was arrested at her home at approximately 6.30am on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977 and suspicion of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977."

On Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron's former spin doctor, Andy Coulson, and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks appeared at the Old Bailey, also accused of making corrupt payments to public officials.

Coulson and ex-News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman are charged with conspiracy to pay for information, including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".

Coulson, 44, and Goodman, 55, face two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office - one between August 31, 2002 and January 31, 2003, and the other between January 31 and June 3, 2005.

Brooks, 44, and former Sun chief reporter John Kay, 69, are charged with conspiring to pay Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan-Barber around STG100,000 ($A154,906) for information.

The three each face one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between January 1, 2004 and January 31, 2012.