Bribery charges laid against two former editors of News International newspapers

2012-11-20 23:39:28 GMT2012-11-21 07:39:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The former communications director to British Prime Minister David Cameron and the former chief executive of News International (NI) newspapers have been charged with plotting to bribe public officials, it was revealed Tuesday.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the British national procurators' office, said in a press statement that Andy Coulson, Cameron's former communications director and the former editor of the Sun newspaper 2003-7, and Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the Sun and former NI chief executive, faced charges of bribing public officials for information.

Coulson was charged along with the former royal correspondent of the News of the World (NOTW) Clive Goodman with allegedly paying public officials in exchange for information, including a Buckingham Palace phone directory known as the "Green Book" containing contact details for the Royal Family and Members of the Royal Household.

Goodman had been jailed for four months in 2007 for hacking the private telephone messages of members of the Royal family, and Coulson had resigned as editor of the NOTW as a result of that conviction.

Brooks, also a former editor of the Sun 2003-9, was charged with bribing an official at the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) for information.

Brooks was charged alongside former Sun newspaper chief reporter John Kay, and MOD employee Bettina Jordan-Barber.

Alison Levitt QC, the principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said in the press statement, "This conspiracy relates to information allegedly provided by Jordan-Barber for payment, which formed the basis of a series of news stories published by The Sun."

"It is alleged that approximately 100,000 pounds (about 159,000 U.S. dollars) was paid to Jordan-Barber between 2004 and 2011," said the statement.

The five people charged are to appear at Westminster City Magistrates Court on Nov. 29.

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