A former editor of the News of the World Scotland has been detained by police over allegations he attempted to pervert the course of justice.
Bob Bird is being questioned by officers from Strathclyde Police over “conduct” in relation to the 2006 defamation action by former MSP Tommy Sheridan against the newspaper.
He was detained this morning in Glasgow by officers from the force’s Operation Rubicon.
A Strathclyde Police spokewoman said: “Officers from Operation Rubicon of Strathclyde Police detained a 56-year-old man in Glasgow this morning under section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Scotland Act 1995 on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice arising from conduct at the time of the defamation action of Thomas Sheridan versus News Groups Newspapers Ltd in 2006.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Operation Rubicon is the Strathclyde Police inquiry into allegations of phone hacking, breach of data protection and perjury.
It is understood Mr Bird is being questioned at Govan police station, where it is also thought he is being quizzed about breaches of the Data Protection acts.
Sheridan won his defamation action against the News of the World at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in 2006.
He was awarded £200,000 (€250,000) in damages after the tabloid printed claims about his private life. Mr Bird gave evidence at the hearing.
Sheridan was jailed for three years in January 2011 after being found guilty of lying about the now-defunct tabloid’s claims that he was an adulterer who visited a swingers’ club.
That trial, which lasted almost 12 weeks at the High Court in Glasgow, was one of the longest of its kind in Scottish legal history.
Sheridan was released from jail after serving one year of his sentence.