Friday 17 November 2017

Rebekah Brooks and six others to learn today if charged over phone hacking

Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks leaving the High Court in London after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry
Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks leaving the High Court in London after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

Gordon Rayner

REBEKAH Brooks will find out this morning whether she is to be charged over the alleged destruction of evidence relating to phone-hacking.

Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, will announce at 10am whether the former News International chief executive and six others are to be charged with perverting the course of justice.



Last month a file on the seven, who also include Mrs Brooks’s husband Charlie, was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Metropolitan Police team investigating phone-hacking.



Mr and Mrs Brooks were arrested in March as part of Operation Sacha, an investigation into alleged attempts to destroy material relating to Scotland Yard’s inquiries into phone-hacking, computer hacking and corrupt payments to public officials.



The arrests followed reports that News International instigated an “email deletion policy” as victims of phone-hacking began suing its subsidiary, News Group Newspapers, publisher of the News of the World.



Last year police examined a computer, paperwork and a mobile phone found in a bag in a bin near the Brooks’s London home the day after Mrs Brooks had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and of corrupting police officers.



Mrs Brooks’s spokesman said at the time that the bag and its contents belonged to Charlie Brooks, a columnist for The Daily Telegraph, and were nothing to do with Mrs Brooks or the phone-hacking case.



The discovery of the bag in a bin was put down by Mr Brooks to a mix-up over where the bag should be dropped off after he lent it to a friend.



Mr and Mrs Brooks and the five others who were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice will only be told moments of the CPS’s decision moments before it is publicly announced.



So far, no-one has been charged since Scotland Yard launched a fresh investigation into phone-hacking in January last year.



More than 40 people remain on bail after being questioned by detectives.

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