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Bribery probe focuses on 2nd Murdoch paper

LONDON -- The criminal investigation into British tabloid skulduggery turned full force on a second Rupert Murdoch publication Saturday, with the arrest of four current and former journalists from The Sun on suspicion of bribing police.

A serving police officer was also held, and authorities searched the newspaper's offices as part of an investigation into illegal payments for information.

The arrests spread the scandal over tabloid wrongdoing -- which has already shut down one Murdoch paper, the News of the World -- to Britain's best-selling newspaper.

London police said two men aged 48 and one aged 56 were arrested on suspicion of corruption early in the morning at homes in and around London. A 42-year-old man was detained later at a London police station.

Murdoch's News Corp. confirmed that all four were current or former Sun employees. The BBC and other British media identified them as former managing editor Graham Dudman, former deputy editor Fergus Shanahan, current head of news Chris Pharo and crime editor Mike Sullivan.

A fifth man, a 29-year-old police officer, was arrested at the London station where he works.

Officers searched the men's homes and the east London headquarters of the media mogul's British newspapers for evidence.

The investigation into whether reporters illegally paid police for information is running parallel to a police inquiry into phone hacking by Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World.

News Corp. said it was cooperating with police.

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