Rupert Murdoch has today announced that he will launch the Sun on Sunday “very soon”.

In a letter to employees at the Sun, who have recently come under fire as a result of the ongoing phone hacking scandal, Murdoch said “I believe this newsroom is full of great journalists and I remain grateful for your superb work and for the stories you uncover to inform and protect the public.”

The Sun is owned by News International, a branch of News Corporation, where Rupert Murdoch is the chief executive. The same company owned News of the World, which closed in July 2011 amid allegations of phone hacking, including the phones of celebrities and the murdered school girl Milly Dowler.

The Sun on Sunday is seen by many as a replacement for the News of the World, which has prompted questions over the ethical implications of such a move.

Murdoch asserted “We will obey the law. Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated – at any of our publications,” and that “having a winning paper is the best answer to our critics.”

He also said that he would remain in London for the next few weeks in preparation for the launch.

This week, eight Sun employees, including John Kay, chief reporter, and Geoff Webster, associate editor, were arrested over alleged payments to police and public officials. Several former journalists for the paper were also arrested as part of Operation Elveden, which is targeting corruption in the police and other public institutions.

The Leveson inquiry into the practices and ethics of the Press continues, and the first part of the report is expected in August 2012.