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UK phone hacking: Ex-News Intl CEO Rebekah Brooks charged

May 15, 2012 16:32 IST
Rebekah Brooks, a close aide of media baron Rupert Murdoch and former chief executive of News International, will face charges of perjury in connection with the phone-hacking scandal, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Tuesday.

Brooks, who was arrested on 13 March and was on bail, deposed before the Leveson Inquiry on Friday. Her husband, Charlie Brooks, has also been charged with perjury. If convicted, the two face a jail sentence.

Brooks was the editor of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid when voicemails on murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone were illegally intercepted. Revelation of this illegal act last summer sparked off a raft of inquiries and a series of developments across the British press, politics and the police.

Brooks was arrested on March 13 on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice as part of Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into phone hacking.

The police had sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to assess whether charges could be brought against Brooks and her husband.

The CPS has now decided that the charges can be brought against them. The police had sent similar files to the CPS on five other people on 27 March who were arrested as part of the phone-hacking.

Rebekah and Charlie Brooks said, "We deplore this weak and unjust decision."

After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later on Tuesday after our return from the police station.

The CPS received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service on March 27 in relation to seven suspects: Rebekah Brooks; Charles Brooks; Cheryl Carter (Rebekah's personal assistant); Mark Hanna (head of security at News International); Paul Edwards (Rebekah's chauffeur employed by

News International); Daryl Jorsling and a seventh suspect -- both of whom provided security for Rebekah Brooks supplied by News International.

The CPS said that Rebekah Brooks between July 6 and 19 in 2011 conspired with Charles Brooks, Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards, Daryl Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

The second charge was that Rebekah Brooks and Cheryl Carter between July 6 and 9 last year, conspired together permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.

The third charge was that Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling conspired together and with persons unknown, between July 15 and 19 last year to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Alison Levitt, CPS principal legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, said, "All these matters relate to the ongoing police investigation into allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers."

She added, "Following charge, these individuals will appear before Westminster magistrates' court on a date to be determined."



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