Seven people charged with conspiracy to intercept communications
Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International and the former editor of News of the World, is facing charges stemming from a phone hacking and bribery scandal at News Corp.'s U.K. tabloids, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Brooks faces three charges in all, including conspiracy to intercept communications. One charge stems from her alleged involvement in an attempt by News of the World employees to tap into the voice mail of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old English girl who was abducted and murdered in 2002.
Andrew Coulson, a former editor at the tabloid and the ex-media relations chief for Prime Minister David Cameron, will also be charged in the hacking case, investigators said.
In total eight people will be charged for their alleged involvement in illegal news gathering practices at the News of the World. Others ensnared in the investigation are private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, editor Stuart Kuttner, news editor Greg Miskiw, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, news editor Ian Edmondson, and reporter James Weatherup. They face 19 charges in all.
"The police intend to contact all the victims who will then be told that their names appear on the indictment," Alison Levitt, principal legal advisor to the director of public prosecutions, said in a statement. "Once all have been informed the full list of those whom the prosecution says were victims will be made available."
In a statement to the Guardian, Brooks vehemently denied the charges, particularly the allegations surrounding the Dowler case.
"The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting," Brookes said. "Not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations."
News of the World was shuttered just over a year ago in the wake of public outrage over evidence that hacking and bribery were widespread at the paper. Though the paper where most of the crimes took place has been closed, News Corp. has had difficulty moving on from the scandal and potentially faces legal costs and settlements of up to $1 billion.
Last month, News Corp. announced it was splitting itself into two separate companies. One company will house its publishing assets, while the other would boast its more lucrative film and television businesses.