Brooks and Coulson facing new criminal charges

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are facing charges for alleged illegal payments to public officials.

Four former News International staff have been named by the CPS for allegedly making unlawful payments to police officers and public officials.

Clive Goodman, former royal editor for the News of the World, has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Coulson, a former editor of the newspaper, is facing the same charges.

Brooks, a former editor of the Sun, has been also charged alongside former chief reporter John Kay.

The CPS has also charged Ministry of Defence official Bettina Jordan-Barber, who allegedly received around £100,000 over a seven-year period.

The allegations relate to the “request and authorisation of payments to public officials in exchange for information” said the CPS. A royal phone directory, containing contact details for the royal family, known as the ‘green book’ is believed to have been part of information illegally obtained.

The charges have been brought about as part of Operation Elveden, a police investigation into claims of unlawful payments made by News International staff to public officials and police. The investigation has arrested 52 people, including News International staff and public officials.

The CPS has urged prosecutors to “consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings”.

A date is yet to be set for when Coulson, Brooks and the others charged will appear before Westminster magistrates’ court.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

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