Phone hacking inquiry: Brooks charged with perverting the course of justice
Rebekah Brooks will face charges of perverting the course of justice, over alleged destruction of evidence material for the phone hacking inquiry.
The former editor of the News of the World learned this morning that she will be charged with five others, including her husband Charlie Brooks, her former PA Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna the company’s head of security, Paul Edwards News International chauffeur and Daryl Jorsling, a security consultant.
Ms Brooks faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, while her husband faces only two.
The charges relate to offences happened last July, in particular accusations of attempting to conceal important documents from police, in connection with to the phone-hacking inquiry. The charges mention conspiracy to “conceal material from police, removal of seven boxes from The News International archive and attempt to conceal electronic equipment from police.”
Ms and Mr Brooks were arrested after the police found a bag in a car park near their house in Chelsea Harbour containing a laptop, an iPhone, and paperwork. At the time the Brookses justified the finding as a misunderstanding with one of their friends who forgot the bag in the car park, but was supposed to drop it off. Mr Brooks apparently tried to reclaim it, but could not prove it was his so the guards called the police.
The couple, after hearing the news, said: “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.”
The Brookses will be the first charged suspects in an inquiry that in 18 months has shaken deeply the British publishing sector.
Since last July, 19 people have been arrested as part of the operation Elveden, linked to the Metropolitan Police’s follow up phone-hacking investigation Operation Weeting, for which Ms Brooks was arrested on 13th March.
Today prosecutors’ decision comes just few days after Brooks’ evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.
Rebekah Brooks was a News of the World high-flyer. She attended the London College of Communication, but little is known about her formal education. She joined the News of the World in 1989 as a secretary and managed to climb the ranks, eventually becoming deputy editor. In 2000, aged 31, she was the youngest editor of a national paper.
In 2003 she landed the top job at The Sun, becoming its first female editor, and was appointed chief executive of News International in 2009 before resigning in July last year.