Former News International chief executive, her husband and four others charged in phone-hacking inquiry.
Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, has been charged over allegations that she tried to conceal evidence from detectives investigating phone hacking and alleged bribes to public officials.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that Brooks, one of the most high-profile figures in the newspaper industry, would be charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in July last year at the height of the police investigation. Scotland Yard later confirmed she had been charged along with her husband, Charlie Brooks, and four others. Brooks is accused of conspiring with others, including her husband, a racehorse trainer and friend of the prime minister, and her personal assistant, to conceal material from detectives.
Brooks and her husband were informed of the charging decision – the first since the start of the Operation Weeting phone-hacking investigation last January – when they answered their bail at a police station in London on Tuesday morning. They are among six individuals from News International, along with the company’s head of security, Mark Hanna, to be charged over allegations that they removed material, documents and computers to hide them from officers investigating phone hacking. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life, although the average term served in prison is 10 months. In a statement, Brooks and her husband – who are both close to David Cameron – condemned the decision made by senior lawyers and overseen by Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions.
“We deplore this weak and unjust decision after the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS,” the statement said. “We will respond later today after our return from the police station.”