Operation Elveden: Officer in court on leak charge

Det Ch Insp April Casburn leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court (1/10/12) Det Ch Insp April Casburn is the first person to be charged under Operation Elveden

A former counter-terrorism officer has appeared in court accused of leaking information to the News of the World.

Det Ch Insp April Casburn, 53, is charged with misconduct in a public office for allegedly offering details to the now-closed tabloid in 2010.

Ms Casburn is the first person to be charged under Operation Elveden, into alleged corrupt payments to officials.

Ms Casburn has also been charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. She was granted unconditional bail.

Ms Casburn, from Hatfield Peverel, Essex, spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth during the short hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court. There was no plea.

She will next appear at the Old Bailey on 2 November for a plea and case management hearing.

It was alleged Ms Casburn contacted the News of the World in September 2010 and offered the paper information about a Scotland Yard inquiry, Operation Varec, into whether the investigation into phone hacking should be reopened.

It was also alleged that she had secret documents at her home without permission to keep them there.

She was working in the Specialist Operations Directorate of Scotland Yard, alongside the team investigating hacking.

The current phone-hacking inquiry was launched in January 2011.

Reporting restrictions on the Official Secrets Act charge were lifted by District Judge Quentin Purdy on Monday after representations from media organisations, including the BBC.

The officer is a former head of the Met's national terrorist financing investigation unit. She is currently suspended.

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