Murdoch offers payoff to victims

News International, the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire, said the scheme, first announced in April, was a “speedy, cost effective alternative” to going through the courts.

The police said on Thursday they believed the number of victims had reached almost 5,800 — an increase of about 2,000 on the last estimate given in July, when the NOTW was shut down over the scandal. Detectives investigating allegations of payments to police officers by News International staff arrested a 48-year-old journalist, the sixth person to be detained in the probe.

Media reports named him as Jamie Pyatt, who works for another of Murdoch’s British papers, The Sun. He had covered the murder of teenager Milly Dowler, whose voicemail was hacked by the NOTW when she went missing.

News International has refused to say how much it is prepared to pay out in compensation.

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