Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service today after being charged with perverting the course of justice during the phone-hacking scandal.
The former News International chief executive said allegations that she, her husband and four others plotted to hide evidence were "an expensive sideshow and a waste of public money".
Today, Mrs Brooks and her husband Charlie branded the decision as "weak and unjust". Outside of the courts, Mrs Brooks said:
Whilst I have always respected the criminal justice system, I have to question today whether this decision was made on a proper impartial assessment of the evidence.
I understand and know there needs to be a proper and thorough investigation and I am baffled by the decision to charge me today.
I cannot express my anger enough, that those closest to me have been dragged unfairly into this.
One day the details of this case will emerge and people will see today as nothing more than an expensive sideshow and a waste of public money as a result of an unjust and weak decision.
Mr Brooks defended his wife, expressing that she was "the subject of a witch-hunt" and that both he and the other suspects were made to be "scapegoats" in the case.
ITV News' UK Editor Keir Simmons reported that the couple will not take the decision lightly and may take further action to clear their names. Perverting the course of justice could entail life imprisonment.
Mrs Brooks faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice, including that she removed boxes of material from the News International archive and tried to conceal documents, computers and other material from the multimillion-pound Scotland Yard inquiry.
Alongside Mrs Brooks, five others are facing single counts of conspiring with her:
- Mr Brooks
- Cheryl Carter, Mrs Brooks'personal assistant
- Mark Hanna, head of security at News International
- Paul Edwards, Mrs Brooks'chauffeur
- Daryl Jorsling, Security consultant
The former News International chief executive, her racehorse trainer husband Charlie and four others will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on June 13, Scotland Yard said today, accused of plotting to hide evidence.