Bristol-based Sun reporter John Coles bailed after bribes probe
A BRISTOL-based national newspaper journalist
has been released on bail after being arrested as part of the probe into alleged illegal payments to public officials.
John Coles, The Sun's South West reporter, was taken in for questioning by London's Metropolitan Police on Tuesday morning.
A serving police officer with Wiltshire constabulary and a London- based Sun journalist were also arrested by detectives investigating alleged corrupt payments.
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All three have now been bailed to return to police stations in January 2013.
The 39-year-old police officer was arrested at his home in the county at 6am on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
It is understood Mr Coles, 51, was visited by police at his home near Bristol before being questioned at Weston-super-Mare police station on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.
Another Sun journalist, 32, was arrested at his home in London on suspicion of the same offences.
All three were released on police bail late last night.
News International confirmed that both men work for its publication The Sun – the country's top-selling daily newspaper – but did not give any more details.
A Metropolitan police spokesman said: "Today's arrests are the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee.
"They relate to suspected payments to a public official and suspected disclosure of confidential information by a police officer and are not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."
Yesterday's arrests bring the number of people arrested in Operation Elveden to 50, but no one has yet been charged with any offence.
The operation is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
It was opened as a result of documents provided by News International to the ongoing Operation Weeting investigation, which is looking into phone hacking at the defunct Sunday national paper, The News of The World.
The investigation is led by the Met Police's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is also in charge of Operation Tuleta, an investigation into alleged computer hacking involving The News of the World.