May 15 - The former Chief Executive of Murdoch's News International, Rebekah Brooks is charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Sonia Legg reports.
Last week she was telling an inquiry into phone hacking at UK newspapers how Britain's Prime Minister signs off his texts Now Rebekah Brooks is facing the prospect of a criminal trial. The former News International Chief Executive has been charged with interfering with a police investigation into the UK phone hacking scandal by concealing material and removing archive records and computers. It's rocked Rupert Murdoch's media empire in recent months and has sent shock waves through the British political establishment. Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie - a school friend of David Cameron - have been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - as have her personal assistant, her chauffeur and two security men. Allison Levitt is the PrIncipal Legal Advisor to the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions. SOUNDBITE: Allison Levitt, Principal Legal Advisor to the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions, saying (English): "All the evidence has now carefully been considered - applying the two stage tests in the code for crown prosecutors, I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except the seventh there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction. " Brooks has been called Rupert Murdoch's "fifth daughter". She edited the now defunct News of the World for three years from 2000. And she was the first femail editor of the Sun, Britain's most widely-read newspaper. She was given the top job in Murdoch's British newspaper arm in 2009 but was forced to resign after police re-launched an investigation into claims that News of the World journalists routinely hacked phones to generate stories. SOUNDBITE: Allison Levitt, Principal Legal Advisor to the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions, saying (English): "All these matters relate to the ongoing police investigation into the allegations of phone hacking and the corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and Sun newspapers." The charges will be a personal blow for Rupert Murdoch and are also embarrassing for David Cameron. The maximum sentence for perverting the course of justice is life in prison. Sonia Legg, Reuters