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Murdoch insider Rebekah Brooks to be charged in phone hacking investigation

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN: British prosecutors said Tuesday they would charge Rebekah Brooks with trying to obstruct a police investigation into phone hacking at newspapers owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World, is accused of plotting to remove boxes of documents from News International offices and hide computers and documents from police.
Her husband, personal assistant and driver will also be charged, along with one of her security guards and the head of security for News International, the News Corp. subsidiary that publishes Murdoch’s British newspapers.
They will be the first people to be charged in connection with British police investigations into phone hacking and police bribery, which have been going on for more than a year.
The maximum sentence for the charges they face is life in prison, the Crown Prosecution Service said.A spokesman for Brooks said she and her husband “deplore this weak and unjust decision,” and accused prosecutors of “unprecedented posturing.” Spokesman David Wilson said there would be a fuller statement later.
Separately, police announced they had arrested two more people Tuesday in connection with the bribery investigation. The man and woman were arrested at their home in London, police said.
The arrests were based on information provided by News Corp., police said.
Brooks faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Her husband, Charles, and the other suspects face two counts each of the same charge.
Brooks became chief executive of News International after editing two Murdoch tabloids, the News of the World and the Sun. She resigned last summer and was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in March.
Alison Levitt of the Crown Prosecution Service said Tuesday that prosecutors felt there was “a realistic prospect of conviction” of the six suspects.
Police gave prosecutors files on seven suspects in March. Levitt said prosecutors had decided not to press charges against one of them.
Police opened investigations into phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery of public officials last year and have arrested dozens of people.
Following Tuesday’s announcement, 40 other people are waiting for police to decide whether to recommend that prosecutors press charges for phone hacking or corruption.
Three people have been arrested and released, with police saying they will take no further action, in addition to the man told by prosecutors Tuesday that they would not press charges.

Published Date: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | 02:04 AM

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