Eight people including David Cameron's former head of communications Andy Coulson will face charges over phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.
The Prime Minister's former spin doctor is accused over the interception of voicemails during his time at the News of the World.
As Tom Bradby reports, Mr Coulson said that he had never done anything to harm the Dowler investigation and would "fight these allegations".
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will face two charges - one relating to the alleged accessing of Dowler's phone messages.
Mrs Brooks released a statement saying she was not guilty of phone hacking, did not authorise it and was not aware of it.
I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship.
I am distressed and angry that the CPS have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage.
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.
Who will face charges over phone hacking allegations?
- Andy Coulson - the Prime Minister's former head of communications.
- Rebekah Brooks - former News International chief executive.
- Glenn Mulcaire - private investigator for News of the World.
- Neville Thurlbeck - former News of the World's chief reporter.
- Ian Edmondson - former assistant editor at the News of the World.
- Stuart Kuttner - former News of the World managing editor.
- Greg Miskiw - former news editor at the News of the World.
- James Weatherup - former assistant editor at the News of the World.
Ms Levitt said that 13 files were passed to the CPS by the police and she had decided that there was a "realistic prospect of conviction" in relation to eight of them.
All of them apart from Mulcaire will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006.
As Keir Simmons reports, prosecutors will claim that more than 600 people, including Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were victims of this offence.
Neville Thurlbeck, who is accused of phone hacking the Hollywood couple, released a statement saying he would "vigorously fight" the charges.
I am most surprised and disappointed in the outcome.
I have always operated under the strict guidance and advice of News International’s lawyers and under the instructions of the newspaper’s editors which will be abundantly clear when this matter comes to court.
I will vigorously fight to clear my reputation.
What are the charges?
- Andy Coulson will face four charges linked to accusations of accessing the phone messages of Milly Dowler, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke and George Best's son Calum Best.
- Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges, relating to allegedly accessing the voicemails of Milly Dowler and former trade union boss Andrew Gilchrist.
- Neville Thurlbeck will face charges over Milly Dowler, Sven-Goran Eriksson, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Mark Oaten, Dame Tessa Jowell and David Mills.
- Glenn Mulcaire faces charges over Milly Dowler, Andrew Gilchrist, Delia Smith and Charles Clarke.
- Ian Edmondson faces charges in relation to David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sienna Miller, Mark Oaten, Wayne Rooney, Calum Best, Tessa Jowell and David Mills, John Prescott, Professor John Tulloch, Lord Frederick Windsor and Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
- Stuart Kuttner is accused in relation to Milly Dowler and David Blunkett.
- Greg Miskiw faces charges linked to Milly Dowler, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Abi Titmuss and John Leslie, Andrew Gilchrist, David Blunkett, Delia Smith, Charles Clarke, Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and Wayne Rooney.
- James Weatherup is accused in relation to David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Wayne Rooney, Lord Prescott and Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Eleven journalists and one non-journalist were due to answer police bail today. When the eight who are facing prosecution do so they will be charged.
Once police have contacted all the alleged victims, a list will be made available, she said.