Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been charged in relation to the phone hacking scandal, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed. Brooks, the former editor of The Sun and ex-chief executive of News International, is facing charges in relation to allegedly accessing the phone messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
Coulson - who quit as David Cameron's spin doctor in January 2011 - is also accused in relation to the hacking of Dowler's phone. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and several other former members of the News of the World are also facing charges. They include former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, the former head of news Ian Edmondson and reporter James Weatherup. Former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck faces seven charges in relation to victims including Milly Dowler, Sven Goran Eriksson, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Brooks has issued a statement vehemently denying the charges made against her, saying, "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship. I am distressed and angry that the CPS have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage. The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime". Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said there was "sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to one or more offences", and those charged are likely to face jail sentences if found guilty.
The majority of the charges are directly linked to the phone hacking of celebrity voicemails, with Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sienna Miller, Calum Best, Sir Paul McCartney, Heather Mills and Wayne Rooney all named in the list of charges.