News Corp. confirmed that it had supplied the police with information, but insisted it would "continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege."
Britain's National Union of Journalists claimed some News International staff felt let down by managers. "They are furious at what they see as a monumental betrayal on the part of News International," the union's general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said.
"Once again Rupert Murdoch is trying to pin the blame on individual journalists hoping that a few scalps will salvage his corporate reputation," she said.
The five journalists from The Sun — aged between 45 and 68 — were questioned on suspicion of offenses of corruption and aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. Police said the three public servants were questioned on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and corruption offenses.
Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby, of Surrey Police, confirmed the police officer being questioned was a member of his force. Surrey Police was responsible for the investigation into missing 13-year-old girl Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. A wave of public revulsion over the disclosure that reporters had intercepted her voicemails in 2002 led Murdoch to close down the News of The World.
Britain's defense ministry declined to comment on the arrest of the defense official.
Raphael Satter and Paisley Dodds in London and Ryan Nakashima in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
David Stringer can be reached at http://bit.ly/b2tTK0
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