Yesterday, Rebekah Brooks (formerly Wade) the former News International executive, former Editor of The Sun and former Editior of the (now defunct) News of the World,
"was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906"
Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 carries the same penalty as the criminal offence to which it the consipiracy applies i.e. the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 section 1 Unlawful interception, which could lead to up to 2 years in prison and / or a unlimited fine.
The Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 section 1 Punishment of corrupt transactions with agents. carries a penalty of up to 7 years in prison and / or an unlimited fine.
Police officers are "agents" in the archaic languuage of the is Act:
(3)A person serving under the Crown or under any corporation or any . . . borough, county, or district council, or any board of guardians, is an agent within the meaning of this Act.
Since Rebekah Brooks is / was due to testify before the House of Commons Select Committe on Culture, Media and Sport in regard to the "phone hacking" scandal(s), there
are various people claiming that this is a conspiracy to silence or neuter any such testimony and she is obviously denying any illegality.
Mrs Brooks' solicitor Stephen Parkinson said: "She is not guilty of any criminal offence. The position of the Metropolitan Police is less easy to understand.
"Despite arresting her yesterday and conducting an interview process lasting nine hours, they put no allegations to her and showed her no documents connecting her with any crime.
One of those making such claim of some sort of coverup is the former Labour junior Minister Chris Bryant,
Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent
The Guardian, Monday 18 July 2011
The Labour MP Chris Bryant said: "It is unusual to arrest by appointment on a Sunday and that just makes me wonder whether this is some ruse to avoid answering questions properly on Tuesday in the Commons committee."
He was the MP who asked Rebekah Wade about Payments To The Police, when she appeared before the same committee back in 2003:
TUESDAY 11 MARCH 2003
MS REBEKAH WADE, MR ANDREW COULSON, MR STUART KUTTNER AND MR TOM CRONE
467. And on the element of whether you ever pay the police for information?
(Ms Wade) We have paid the police for information in the past.
468. And will you do it in the future?
(Ms Wade) It depends--
(Mr Coulson) We operate within the code and within the law and if there is a clear public interest then we will. The same holds for private detectives, subterfuge, a video bag--whatever you want to talk about.
469. It is illegal for police officers to receive payments.
(Mr Coulson) No. I just said, within the law.
Chairman: Chris, you have your answer. Thank you very much. We are grateful for your evidence and the courtesy with which you have given your responses.
Are the now very embarassed and possibly vindictive Metropolitan Police relying on this Select Committee testimony, as all or part of the case against Rebekah Brooks for "corrupt transactions with agents" ?
Do they actually have any other real evidence against her personally ?
N.B. Witness testimony to Select Committees and their Written Reports, are protected by Parliamentary Privilige under the Bill of Rights 1688 and cannot be used as evidence in a Court of law.
This applies to both her 2003 testimony and to anything she might have said on Tuesday, before the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport.
We are still astonished that Article 9 of the Bill of Rights was used to temporarily suppress the ultimately successful Freedom of Information Act request, for the publication of the notorious Identity Card Scheme Gateway Reviews