The Daily Mail reported today that Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks are to be charged with perverting the course of justice during the phone-hacking scandal.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that they, along with four others, will become the first to face criminal prosecution over a scandal which has rocked the British establishment.

In a statement, Mr and Mrs Brooks described the decision as ‘weak and unjust’.
The other four also charged are Mrs Brooks’ former PA Cheryl Carter, Head of Security at News International Mark Hanna, News International chauffeur Paul Edwards and security consultant Daryl Jorsling.

In a statement, Mr and Mrs Brooks 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.’

In a statement to the press ethics probe last week, Brooks, who quit last July as the phone-hacking furore engulfed News International, said she was horrified by revelations about the News of the World.

She told the inquiry that she had close contacts with politicians even though the hacking scandal was gathering steam and David Cameron was among those who indirectly conveyed sympathy to her when she resigned.

The former Sun editor and Murdoch’s chief lieutenant and her racehorse trainer husband were among six who were waiting to hear if they would face charges today, including the company’s head of security Mark Hanna.

Mrs Brooks, a Warrington-born high-flyer in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, is one of the most high profile figures in the newspaper industry.

The decision from prosecutors comes just days after she gave almost an entire day’s evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

She also revealed how the Prime Minister regularly signed of his text messages with the acronym ‘LOL, thinking it meant ‘lots of love’, until she told him it meant ‘laugh out loud’.
Mrs Brooks became News of the World editor in 2000 aged 31, landed the top job at The Sun in 2003 and was appointed chief executive of News International in 2009 before resigning in July last year.

Days later the 43-year-old was arrested over alleged phone hacking and corruption, offences for which she remains on bail without charge.

She was arrested again in March in connection with the separate perverting the course of justice allegation, with her husband and the five others.

Mr Brooks, who has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph as well as writing a novel entitled Citizen, met his wife at a party with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Ms Carter, who was personal assistant for Mrs Brooks during 19 years service before she left News International last summer, was arrested on January 6.

The charges relate to one of five files handed to the director of public prosecutions.
Keir Starmer QC said he was facing ‘very difficult and sensitive decisions’ as he predicted more cases were coming his way.

Police launched Weeting, the inquiry devoted specifically to phone hacking, after receiving ‘significant new information’ from News International on January 26 last year.
Elveden was launched months later after officers were given documents suggesting News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.

Officers also launched three other related operations, the Sasha perverting the course of justice inquiry, Kilo, an inquiry into police leaks, and Tuleta, the investigation into computer-related offences, as the inquiry escalated.

Metropolitan Police figures showed that there were 829 potential victims of phone hacking, of whom 231 were said to be uncontactable.

The scandal has already led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years, prompted a major public inquiry, and forced the resignation of Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and his assistant John Yates.

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