By Ray Fleming

TREVOR Kavanagh is one of the longest-serving senior journalists on The Sun newspaper and is now associate editor. Yesterday he turned on News Corporation, the global parent company of the Murdoch organisation , accusing it of running a witch-hunt against some Sun journalists that treated them as if they were members of an organised crime gang.

Mr Kavanagh's wrath was directed at News Corporation's Management Standards Committee which was set up to cooperate with the police on allegations of phone hacking and illegal payments to public officials following the News of the World scandals and its closure.

In effect, in an article in the Sun and in interviews on radio and TV, Mr Kavanagh accused the Committee of having been inappropriately helpful by vetting journalists' emails and providing some of them with other material to the police which has led to the arrest and bailing of ten journalists without charges against them.

Trevor Kavanagh's typically trenchant column in the Sun claimed that the incident “has put us behind ex-Soviet states on free press” and he asked why the police were devoting such large resources to this matter -- “bigger than the PanAm Lockerbie probe” -- at a time that they are stretched to ensure the security of the London Olympics. It is reported that Rupert Murdoch is due in London this week.