Trevor Kavanagh criticises the police over Sun arrests

The SunTrevor Kavanagh, associate editor of The Sun, has criticised by the police over their arrests of five journalists who worked on the tabloid.

On Saturday five journalists who work for The Sun were arrested as part of Operation Eleven; the police investigation into illegal payments made in return for stories and information. As well as the five journalists a serving Police Officer, a Ministry of Defence employee and a serving member of the Armed Forces were also arrested.

The arrests of the five Sun journalists come just weeks after previous arrests of journalists form the very same paper. The arrests have sparked questions over the future of the tabloid though Rupert Murdoch pledged his continued support to the paper over the weekend – in stark contrast the News of the World and the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed it. Writing in The Sun today Kavanagh was extremely criticial of the police and the arrests of the five journalists

‘THE Sun is not a “swamp” that needs draining.  Nor are those other great News International titles, The Times and The Sunday Times.  Yet in what would at any other time cause uproar in Parliament and among civil liberty and human rights campaigners, its journalists are being treated like members of an organised crime gang.’ – Kavanagh opened his opinion piece with.

The associate editor went on to claim that the UK was behind former Soviet countries such as Poland and Estonia in terms of Freedom of Speech writing ‘ Is it any surprise that Britain has dropped nine places to 28th, behind ex-Soviet bloc states Poland, Estonia and Slovakia, in the international Freedom of Speech league table?  So when the police get matters so far out of proportion, we are entitled to ask: Who polices the police?’

Kavanagh also criticised the Independent Police Complaints Commission and asked who really policed the police. However, Kavanagh’s comments are likely to draw some criticism themselves and critics will argue that the police investigation into illegal activity is legitimate and that no company, paper or journalist is above the law.  

The investigation into illegal activity at The Sun is the biggest crisis in the tabloids history and there are reports of anger amongst journalists working for the paper that information was supplied to the police by News Corp’s own internal investigation.{jcomments off}