Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's British media group News International and a family friend of the Murdochs, on Sunday became the most high-profile figure to be arrested in connection with investigations into the phone hacking scandal.

Her spokesman said she was arrested when she went to the police station for a “pre-arranged interview with the police.”

Alleged cover-up

Ms. Brooks' surprise arrest on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption allegations came amid reports that several other senior News International executives, including Mr. Murdoch and his son and company chairman James, were being investigated for any alleged role in covering up the scale of the scandal.

Ms. Brooks, who resigned on Friday following intense public and political pressure, was to appear before the House of Commons' media committee on Tuesday to answer questions about her role in the scandal. That may not happen now because her testimony could be used by the police against her. It could also prejudice police investigations.

‘Difficult position'

“The arrest puts her in a difficult position in terms of her scheduled appearance at the meeting on Tuesday,” her spokesman said.

Ms. Brooks was the Editor of the News of the World during the period to which many allegations of phone hacking relate.

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