News International’s former legal adviser Tom Crone “categorically denies” any criminal offence, his solicitor said today, after the 60-year-old was arrested and bailed by police investigating phone hacking.
Mr Crone was held at his home in south west London yesterday morning on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and later bailed until mid-October.
His solicitor Henri Brandman said today: “My client has fully assisted the police in their enquiries. He categorically denies the commission of or involvement in any criminal offence. Neither he nor I will be making any further public statement.”
Mr Crone is the 25th person to be arrested under Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations of phone hacking.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday over charges linked to the same inquiry.
She is accused of one general charge of conspiracy to illegally access voicemails, and two others relating to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and former union boss Andrew Gilchrist.
Seven other people, including David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson, appeared at the same court earlier this month to face phone hacking conspiracy charges.
The group included six members of staff from the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World (NoTW), who all face the general charge alongside Brooks, as well as specific counts linked to individual people.
Former NoTW editor Coulson has been charged, along with ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.
Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire is also accused.
The Weeting investigation is being run alongside two separate probes - Operation Elveden, which is looking at alleged corrupt payments to public officials, and Operation Tuleta, which concerns accusations of computer hacking and other privacy breaches including the alleged hacking of stolen mobile phones.
So far 43 people have been arrested under Elveden and 11 under Tuleta.