Wednesday, March 29, 2023


March 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Neville Thurlbeck

Neville Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter for the News of the World, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of intimidating a witness. While the witness was not identified by police, he is believed to be Will Lewis, who heads an internal committee set up by News Corp to ferret out and turn over to authorities possibly incriminating evidence in the company’s files about telephone hacking and bribes to police and other officials for information. Thurlbeck has been highly critical of the process, setting up a blog in which he complains that the Lewis committee represents a betrayal of hardworking journalists. In one post, he remarked, “Some of our industry’s finest professionals are facing three years in jail for carrying out what police will discover was an industry-wide practice.” The Management and Standards Committee that Lewis oversees, Thurlbeck suggests, was set up by News Corp out of a concern that evidence of wrongdoing, if uncovered by police, could lead to charges being brought in Washington that the U.S.-based company was in violation of the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act. To prevent that from happening, Thurlbeck wrote, “the MSC is busily heaping the corpses of its most loyal servants onto a funeral pyre.” Last week, he posted an item on his blog claiming that Lewis had hired a private security firm at his home and gave his address. “Clearly, my blog was the cause of today’s police activity,” he wrote. “One minute I was sitting penning a new post. The next, I was in the police station, having DNA mouth swabs and my fingerprints and police mugshot taken.” He said he spent six hours in police custody, adding, “It really didn’t feel like England.” Thurlbeck denied the charges, remarking that they “seem extremely far-fetched to me.”