Operation Elveden: Nine people in court

Westminster Magistrates Court
Image caption More than 30 former colleagues of the journalists were present, according to The Guardian

Nine people, including the former managing editor of the Sun, have appeared in court in connection with alleged corrupt payments by newspapers.

It is alleged that Graham Dudman authorised payments to public officials.

The nine also included past and present Sun and Daily Mirror journalists, two prison officers and a police officer.

The charges were brought under the Metropolitan Police's investigation Operation Elveden.

Operation Elveden is looking into corrupt payments to police and public officials and is being run alongside two other investigations - Operation Weeting, which is looking at alleged phone hacking, and Operation Tuleta, which focuses on computer hacking and other alleged privacy breaches.

Mr Dudman, 50, of Brentwood, Essex, is now an executive at News UK. He has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

It is alleged that in September 2002 he requested the authorisation of payments of £3,000 to one or more police officers in exchange for information relating to ongoing police investigations.

It is also claimed that between June 2002 and December 2007, Mr Dudman authorised payments to public officials relating to the health of a Broadmoor patient, details of an incident at a hospital and details of an incident relating to army combat.

It is further alleged that he approved a payment requested by John Troup, a former journalist at the Sun, for information relating to the death of a prison inmate.

Also in court on Thursday, Mr Troup, 47, of Saffron Walden, Essex, has been charged as a co-conspirator.

Witness details

Meanwhile prison officer Grant Pizzey, 47, and his partner Desra Reilly, 51, both from Eltham, south London, were in court over allegations they received almost £20,000 from former Daily Mirror journalist Greig Box Turnbull for over 40 pieces of information about incidents that took place at HMP Belmarsh, where Mr Pizzey worked.

Mr Box Turnbull, 38, of Morden, Surrey, is also alleged to have paid 38-year-old Marc Alexander, of Port Talbot in south Wales, £2,700 for information on inmates at HMP Holloway where he worked.

Mr Box Turnbull was in court over two charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, with Mr Pizzey, Ms Reilly and Mr Alexander charged as co-conspirators.

Current Sun journalist Vince Soodin, 38, of Greenwich, south-east London, appeared in court charged with conspiring with a police officer to commit misconduct in public office.

It is alleged that, between June 18 and July 20 2010, he paid a police officer £500 in exchange for information including contact details for witnesses in police investigations.

Show of support

An officer with Wiltshire Police, Darren Jennings, 40, of Harnham, Salisbury, Wiltshire, has been charged with misconduct in public office after he allegedly provided information to the Sun in relation to a police officer who was facing criminal proceedings.

It is alleged that in September 2010, he sought payment of £10,000 in exchange for personal background information about the police officer and other individuals who were in police custody at the time.

Meanwhile, it is claimed that Alan Ostler, a former assistant technical instructor at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, 32, of Denham, Buckinghamshire, provided information to journalists at the Sun and the Daily Mirror relating to patients and incidents inside high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, allegedly receiving £900 from the latter paper.

He was charged with committing misconduct in public office between June 1 and July 10 2008, the CPS said.

More than 30 people were present at the hearing in a show of support for the defendants - many believed to be journalists.

The defendants spoke only to state their dates of birth and addresses before being told they would appear at the Old Bailey for a preliminary hearing on September 18.

They have been granted continued unconditional bail.