LONDON — The former editor of the Scottish edition of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid was arrested on Wednesday and charged in connection with the defamation action of a former lawmaker.
Bob Bird, 56, was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice over Tommy Sheridan's successful legal action against the newspaper in 2006.
Bird was held for questioning at a police station in Glasgow before being released around four hours later.
"I just want to say I'm really sad and disappointed that things have come to this today," Bird told broadcasters after his release.
"I have always tried to do the right thing throughout my 30, 40-odd years in journalism and I will be denying the charge that has been made against me today.
"On legal advice, I can't say any more at the moment."
Bird edited the now-defunct tabloid when it reported allegations about the flamboyant Sheridan's private life.
The former member of the Scottish Parliament sued the newspaper for defamation and was awarded £200,000 ($315,000, 250,000 euros) in damages.
Sheridan was subsequently charged and convicted of perjury and jailed for three years, but was released after serving one year of his sentence.
In May, British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson was arrested and charged over evidence that he gave at Sheridan's perjury trial.
Coulson is a former editor of the London-based edition of the News of the World.
Murdoch shut down the News of the World in July last year amid a storm of allegations that it had hacked the phones of a murdered schoolgirl and accessed the voicemails of hundreds of celebrities and politicians.
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