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Brooks and Coulsen charged over payments to public officials

Andy Coulsen and Rebekah Brooks, two former senior figures at News International, have been charged over alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

Coulsen (left) and Brooks (File photos)
Coulsen (left) and Brooks (File photos)
Image: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO FORMER SENIOR executives at Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and News of The World newspapers have been charged over alleged payments to public officials.

The Crown Prosecution Service has laid a number of charges against Andy Coulsen, a former editor of the now defunct News of The World, and Rebekah Brooks, who formerly edited both The Sun and the News of The World.

Coulsen, who until last year was the British prime minister’s communications chief, has been charged with paying public officials in exchange for a Buckingham Palace phone book, the so-called ‘Green Book’.

This book is said to have contained contact details for the royal family and members of the royal household.

Also charged in connection to this is Clive Goodman, a former royal editor at the NoTW, which was shut down last year over the phone hacking scandal.

Brooks, former Sun chief reporter John Kay and Bettina Barber, a former Ministry of Defence employee, have been charged over payments of around €124,500 to Barber in exchange for information over a seven year period between 2004 and 2011.

This information is said to have been used for stories in The Sun.

Another unnamed suspect is mentioned in the file relating to these charges but this person has not been charged and the investigation is ongoing, the CPS says.

All of those charged will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court at a date to be determined.

The charges are the latest to stem from the phone-hacking scandal which has rocked the British establishment and its relationship with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

Brooks and Coulson have already been charged with phone hacking, while Brooks also faces charges of perverting the course of justice.

Read: Former Irish NOTW editor reportedly among two arrested over hacking

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Hugh O'Connell

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