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  1. ITV Report

Former NOTW chief reporter arrested

Thurlbeck was questioned on 'suspicion of witness intimidation'. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Winning (

Former News of the World Chief Neville Thurlbeck was arrested earlier today in London by detectives investigating phone-hacking at News International.

Police officers from Operation Weeting arresting him this afternoon; he was previously arrested on the 5th April 2011.

Today he was arrested on suspicion of intimidation of a witness and encouraging or assisting an offence.

Last year he was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and unlawful interception of voicemail messages.

Thurlbeck was sacked from the News of the World in September 2011 Credit: ITV News

Thurlbeck was sacked from the News of the World in September 2011; he has since lodged a claim for unfair dismissal against News International.

He has blogged about the Leveson Inquiry in recent months and claims detectives asked him to become a prosecution witness after seizing documents from his home last year.

He said that evidence taken from his home during his first arrest last April indicated that he warned senior colleagues two years ago about hacking.

Mr Thurlbeck claims to have turned down the opportunity to become a witness for the prosecution in return for impunity. In November he said:

"I have informed Scotland Yard that while I fully understand and respect the reason for their request of me to give evidence for the Crown in any prosecution arising from Operation Weeting, it is my opinion that a detailed and forensic inquiry into my working methods by what is a highly professional police unit will fully exonerate me. So, on that basis, I have declined their offer."

Scotland Yard said tonight he has been bailed until April pending further enquiries.