Former Top Murdoch Exec Rebekah Brooks ArrestedS

Rebekah Brooks, who resigned as chief of News Corp subsidiary News International on Friday, was arrested Sunday by the Metropolitan Police on charges relating to the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Reports about the arrest are conflicting: Some accounts hold that Brooks was notified of the arrest on Friday and turned herself in to the police station at noon today by appointment, but her spokesman (spokesman!) says Brooks was at the station for questioning and didn't know she would be arrested.

Brooks is due to testify in front of a parliamentary committee on Tuesday; it's unclear if that hearing will still take place. Indeed, MP Tom Watson is speculating that Brooks didn't confirm her attendance at the hearing until after making her appointment to be arrested—allowing her to avoid answering questions from parliament by citing "an ongoing police investigation." The New York Times' Don Van Natta, Jr. (who yesterday broke news of Scotland Yard's complicity in the scandal) tweets about a source who says, ominously that the timing of the arrest "helps her more than hurts her... [and h]elps the Met, too."

According to the police statement, here's what she's been charged with:

At approximately 12.00 a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting [phone hacking investigation] together with officers from Operation Elveden [bribing of police officers investigation]. She is currently in custody.

She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

Brooks rose through the ranks of News International after starting as a secretary at News of the World, eventually becoming the editor of that paper. She was also said to be a favorite of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, who ten days ago issued a statement indicating his strong support of Brooks. Can we just say: LOL.

[Guardian; image via AP]