The Two-Way
6:28 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Charges Filed Against Murdoch Editors Accused Of Paying Officials For Information

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:45 am

British officials today filed more charges against former top editors at some of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K., this time for allegedly paying nearly $160,000 to a ministry of defense official to get information.

That information allegedly included the "Green Book" that lists phone numbers and other contact details for members of Britain's royal family.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, those charged are:

-- Clive Goodman, "royal correspondent" for News of the World before 2007.

-- Andy Coulson, News of the World deputy editor between 2000 and 2003 and editor between 2003 and 2007.

-- Rebekah Brooks, for alleged misconduct when she was editor of The Sun between from January 2003 to September 2009.

-- John Kay, chief reporter at The Sun from 1990 to 2011.

-- Bettina Jordan-Barber, the ministry of defense official who was allegedly paid for such information.

The prosecution services alleges the defendants engaged in "conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office."

The charges laid out today are on top of charges against Brooks, Coulson and some other former Murdoch editors related to the so-called phone hacking scandal that first led authorities to investigate the sometimes questionable practices of British news outlets.

Brooks, Coulson and others have previously professed their innocence. When he was called before a committee of parliament to testify about things his journalists had done, Murdoch called it "the most humble day of my life" and said he was "appalled and ashamed" when he heard that his now-defunct News of the World had hacked the cellphone of a missing teenage girl, who it turned out had been murdered.

During the investigation of alleged payments to public officials for information, "the Metropolitan police have arrested 52 people ... including 21 journalists at the Sun, according to The Guardian. "Among the public officials arrested are a member of the armed forces, a prison official, and police officers."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.