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Sun Royal Editor, Former Armed Forces Member Arrested Over Alleged Illegal Payments To Public Officials

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Larcombe has been named by numerous news sources as the arrested journalist
Larcombe has been named by numerous news sources as the arrested journalist

A Sun journalist and a former member of the armed forces have been arrested by detectives investigating alleged illegal payments to public officials.

Duncan Larcombe, 36, the paper's royal editor, is one of the three people officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden held at their homes in Kent and Lancashire in a dawn swoop on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.

News International confirmed only that a Sun journalist was among those arrested, but would not give any further details.

Detectives arrested a former serviceman, 42, and a woman, 38, at their home in Lancashire at about 6am.

The man was held on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and the woman on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. They are being questioned at a police station in Lancashire.

The 36-year-old male Sun journalist was arrested at his home in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office. He is being questioned at a police station in Kent.

Officers carried out searches at the homes of those under arrest.

Police said the operation was sparked by information supplied by News Corporation's management standards committee (MSC), which was set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World last July.

The MSC is carrying out internal investigations relating to Rupert Murdoch's remaining UK papers - The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times - and is working closely with the detectives investigating alleged phone-hacking and corrupt payments to police and other public officials.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee.

"It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

A total of 26 people have now been arrested since last July as part of Operation Elveden, which is linked to the Metropolitan Police's continuing phone-hacking investigation, Operation Weeting.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed on Wednesday that it has received the first set of files from police relating to the inquiries.

Sources said former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is one of 11 suspects named in the documents handed to Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC for him to decide whether to bring charges.

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