LONDON -- Former News of the World editor and Rupert Murdoch lieutenant Rebekah Brooks will testify next week at the media ethics inquiry, it was announced yesterday.

Brooks, who resigned in July as head of Murdoch's British newspaper operations, is a central figure in the scandal over tabloid phone hacking shaking the country and News Corp. She has twice been arrested and questioned about illegal eavesdropping and obstruction of justice.

Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry said Brooks is likely to appear May 11. She is likely to be asked about her business and personal ties to senior police officers and politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron.

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who became Cameron's communications chief, also will testify next week. He resigned early this year as the scandal intensified.

On Thursday, detectives investigating allegations of police bribery in the hacking scandal arrested a 57-year-old retired London officer on suspicion of misconduct in public office. -- AP

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