Two David Cameron aides to be charged for bribery

Rebekah Brooks

British Prime Minister David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will be charged as part of the probe into alleged corrupt payments to public officials, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.

Former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman will also be charged, alongside Coulson, with two conspiracies relating to the request and authorisation of alleged payments to public officials in exchange for information, including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".

It contained contact details for the royal family and members of the household.

Brooks, 44, who was editor of Rupert Murdoch's the Sun newspaper between January 14, 2003 and September 1, 2009, is facing charges, along with former 'Sun' chief reporter John Kay and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber.

The three are accused of a conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between January 1, 2004 and January 31, 2012.

It relates to information allegedly provided by Barber to the Sun in return for payments of around 100,000 pounds.

So far, 52 people have been arrested as part of Operation Elveden, two of whom - a retired police officer and a former journalist - have been told they will face no further action.

A counter-terrorism detective had already been charged and is due to face trial in January.

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn is accused of leaking information to the now-defunct 'News of the World' about the police inquiry into whether to reopen the investigation into phone hacking.

Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said: "All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media.

"This guidance asks prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings."

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