Brooks charged over phone hacking


Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been charged with perverting the course of justice over a phone hacking scandal at one of the group’s newspapers.

Mrs Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie, who was also charged, announced the development in a statement today in which they criticised the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service.

They said: “We have this morning been informed by the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions that we are to be charged with perverting the course of justice.

“We deplore this weak and unjust decision…After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station.”

Mr Brooks said his wife had been subject to a “witchhunt” and that they and four other suspects charged today had been made “scapegoats” in the phone-hacking scandal.

Mrs Brooks said she was “baffled” by the decision to charge her, adding: “One day the details of this case will emerge and people will see today as nothing more than an expensive sideshow.”

Mrs Brooks added: “I can’t express my anger enough that those closest to me have been dragged into this unfairly.”

Alison Levitt, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she had concluded there was sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of a conviction.

A former secretary to Mrs Brooks and other staff from News International, including her driver and security officials from the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire, were also charged.

The maximum sentence for perverting the course of justice is life in prison but such a lengthy term would be highly unlikely.

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