Seven journalists charged over British phone hacking (Lead)

July 24th, 2012 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, July 24 (IANS) Seven senior journalists, including two former editors, have been charged in Britain with conspiring to intercept the voicemails of 600 victims, The Independent reported Tuesday.

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, Rupert Murdoch’s former editors, are charged with conspiring to hack the phone of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the Crown Prosecution announced.

Glenn Mulcaire, the paper’s private detective, will also face charges in relation to four victims, including former home secretary Charles Clarke and TV cook Delia Smith.

They are the first charges for phone hacking to be brought for six years, since 2006 when the News of the World royal editor, Clive Goodman, was prosecuted for hacking the phones of three royal aides, the newspaper said.

Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in July last year after it emerged that the Sunday paper had hacked the mobile phone of Milly Dowler.

Anger over the news led to Prime Minister David Cameron establishing the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

All seven journalists - including former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and news editor Ian Edmondson - will be charged.

At a press conference in central London, the Crown Prosecution Service’s senior lawyer Alison Levitt said they were being charged at with conspiring to hack the phones of 600 as yet un-named victims between 2000 and 2006.

They are also all charged with additional conspiracy to intercept communications offences linked to specific victims, according to the newspaper.

Levitt said: “All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from Oct 3, 2000 to Aug 9, 2006.”

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