'Murdochs escape relatively unscathed'

The actual, true story of today was that the Murdochs escaped relatively unscathed. Not that you'd know it from most of the reports.

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Hacking inquiry: Eight face a total of 19 charges

The eight charged in relation to phone hacking will face a total of 19 charges.

In addition to the charges against Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson:

  • Stuart Kuttner faces three counts of conspiracy to intercept communications, relating to the voicemails of victims who include Milly Dowler and David Blunkett.
  • Greg Miskiw faces 10 counts, with victims including Sven-Goran Eriksson, Wayne Rooney and Delia Smith.
  • Ian Edmonson faces 12 counts, with victims including Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Lord Prescott and Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller.
  • Neville Thurlbeck faces eight counts, with victims including David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, plus Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
  • James Weatherup faces eight counts, with victims including Wayne Rooney.
  • For legal reasons, Glenn Mulcaire won't face the charge of conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority. However, he faces four charges relating to victims including Milly Dowler and Delia Smith.


Who are they accused of hacking?

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has confirmed that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are among eight who face charges relating to phone hacking.

All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept voicemails without legal authority.

In addition, Rebekah Brooks learned she will face two further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications. The first relates to the voicemails of the late schoolgirl Milly Dowler, while the second relates to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist.

Andy Coulson faces four additional charges, relating to Milly Dowler, model Calum Best and former Cabinet ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke.

It was also revealed that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were among the victims or group of victims for which James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck will stand further charges.

CPS to consider cases of five journalists in hacking probe

Scotland Yard has handed the Crown Prosecution Service files on five journalists for charging advice in relation to Operation Weeting, the force's investigation into phone hacking.

The files all relate to allegations of offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the CPS said.

We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing.

We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable.

– CPS spokesperson

Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson detained by police

Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson has been detained by police. Coulson who also worked as David Cameron's Director of Communications is being questioned by Strathclyde Police as part of a perjury investigation following the Tommy Sheridan trial.

In a statement police told STV: "Officers acting for Strathclyde Police Operation Rubicon detained a 44-year-old man in London this morning under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Scotland Act on suspicion of committing perjury at the High Court in Glasgow."

Former News of the World Editor, Andy Coulson
Former News of the World Editor, Andy Coulson Credit: Reuters


Guardian welcomes 'sensible decision' not to charge journalist

A statement on the Guardian's website said:

"We welcome the Crown Prosecution Service's sensible decision to abandon this worrying attempt to criminalise legitimate contact between journalists and confidential sources.

"Nevertheless, the paper makes no comment on the validity of the Met Police assertion that the officer it identified was Amelia's source in this case."

'No realistic prospect of a conviction' against journalist or police officer

In this case, there is no evidence that the police officer was paid any money for the information he provided.

Moreover, the information disclosed by the police officer, although confidential, was not highly sensitive. It did not expose anyone to a risk of injury or death. It did not compromise the investigation. And the information in question would probably have made it into the public domain by some other means, albeit at some later stage.

In those circumstances, I have concluded that there is no realistic prospect of a conviction in the police officer's case because his alleged conduct is not capable of reaching the high threshold necessary to make out the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.

It follows that there is equally no realistic prospect of a conviction against Ms Hill for aiding and abetting the police officer's conduct.

– Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions

'Insufficient evidence' to bring charges against journalist or police officer

Ms Levitt, the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said 10 articles written by Ms Hill in the Guardian "contained confidential information derived from Operation Weeting, including the names of those who had been arrested.

"I am also satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to establish that the police officer disclosed that information to Ms Hill."

But the prosecutor added: "I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence against either suspect to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for the common law offence of misconduct in a public office or conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office."

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