Police said a 71-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications after he arrived by appointment at a north London police station. The source said the man was Kuttner.
News International, the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, declined to comment.
A flood of revelations in the last month has generated a furore that has shaken Murdoch’s media empire, as well as Britain’s press, police and political leaders.
Kuttner was responsible for authorising payments from the paper, which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire. Lawmakers have been told that his office would have been responsible for any payments to private detectives.
He stepped down unexpectedly in 2009 just before The Guardian newspaper began to publish a series of stories that phone-hacking activity at the News of the World was far more widespread than had so far been investigated.
Tuesday’s arrest was made by detectives conducting an inquiry into whether journalists and private investigators illegally intercepted voicemail messages on mobile phones of people ranging from celebrities and politicians to murder victims and the families of dead soldiers to find out gossip for stories.
Eleven people have now been arrested this year in connection with the escalating scandal, which has claimed the resignations of ex-News of the World editor and Murdoch favourite Rebekah Brooks, and Britain’s top two policemen.