24/07/2012

Eight To Be Charged With Phone Hacking

Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and six others will face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

The former News of the World editors will be charged in connection with the accessing of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone messages.

Seven face charges of conspiring to intercept communications between 13 October 2001 and 9 August 2006.

Mrs Brooks, also a former News International chief executive, faces three charges relating to the alleged accessing the voicemails of Milly Dowler and former trade union boss Andrew Gilchrist, CPS legal adviser Alison Levitt QC said.

In a statement, Mrs Brooks said: "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship."

Adding that the charge concerning Milly Dowler was "particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime".

Mr Coulson, the prime minister's former communications chief, will face four charges linked to accusations of accessing the phone messages of Milly Dowler, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke and George Best's son Calum Best.

The others facing charges are former NoW managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former assistant editor Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant editor James Weatherup and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

A total of 13 files were passed to the CPS, of which Ms Levitt thought 8 had a "realistic prospect of conviction".

(H)


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