Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks formally charged

Image caption,
Rebekah Brooks is one of seven former News of the World staff who face phone-hacking charges

Former News International boss Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged over phone hacking, Scotland Yard has said.

Mrs Brooks answered bail at Lewisham police station and will appear before Westminster magistrates on 3 September.

Last week it was announced that Mrs Brooks and six other former News of the World journalists would be charged with conspiring to intercept communications.

The others charged, including ex-Number 10 press director Andy Coulson, will appear in court on 16 August.

Mr Coulson was communications chief under David Cameron.

The seven stand accused of conspiring to intercept voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.

Mrs Brooks, 44, of Churchill, Oxford, and Mr Coulson face specific charges relating to the voicemail of murdered Surrey schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The other former NoW staff who have been formally charged are ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.

Mrs Brooks, a former News of the World editor, insisted she was innocent in a statement issued last week when the CPS announced it was bringing charges.

She said: "The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations."

Others charged have also issued statements denying any involvement.

The charge of conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine.

Mrs Brooks already faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, linked to the investigation into phone hacking.

She and five others, including her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, who faces one count of the same offence, are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 26 September.

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