News In Depth
Angry Brooks hits out over charges
Rebekah Brooks has angrily attacked police and prosecutors for dragging her friends and family into the phone hacking scandal as she said she was "baffled" to face charges.
The former News International chief executive said allegations that she, her husband and four others plotted to hide evidence were "an expensive sideshow and a waste of public money".
In a defiant statement delivered outside her solicitor's London office, she added: "Although I understand the need for a thorough investigation, I am baffled by the decision to charge me. However I cannot express my anger enough that those close to me have unfairly been dragged into this."
mf The 43-year-old and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie stood side-by-side to brand the charging decisions as a "witch hunt" against her.
Mrs Brooks said: "Whilst I have always respected the criminal justice system, I have to question today whether this decision was made on a proper impartial assessment of the evidence."
Mr Brooks said: "I feel today is an attempt to use me and others as scapegoats, the effect of which is to ratchet up the pressure on my wife, who I believe is the subject of a witch hunt.
"There are 172 police officers, about the equivalent of eight murder squads, working on this; so it doesn't surprise me that the pressure is on to prosecute, no matter how weak the cases will be.
"I have no doubt that the lack of evidence against me will be borne out in court but I have grave doubts that my wife can ever get a fair trial, given the huge volume of biased commentary which she has been subjected to.
"We will fight this in court."
The couple will appear in court on June 13 alongside her former PA, Cheryl Carter and chauffeur Paul Edwards charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Mark Hanna, head of security at News International and security consultant Daryl Jorsling also face single counts of conspiring with her.
Mrs Brooks was charged with three counts, including that she removed boxes of material from the News International archive and tried to conceal documents, computers and other material from the multimillion-pound Scotland Yard inquiry.
Mrs Brooks, listed on a police indictment as "unemployed" of Churchill, Oxfordshire, was charged in an hour long meeting with Operation Weeting detectives.
Speaking later outside the Kingsley Napley law firm office, she added: "I was the editor of the News of the World, I was the editor of The Sun and chief executive.
"Even News International's harshest critics can't wish to see today, people with no involvement of the central issues being treated like this and being involved like this."
Alison Levitt QC, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, announced hours earlier that there was "sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction".
Charges against one suspect, a 38-year-old security consultant, were dropped as part of the review of evidence by lawyers since detectives handed over the file on March 27.
But Miss Levitt said a prosecution "is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six".
:: The first charge against Mrs Brooks details that, between July 6 and 19 last year, she conspired with her husband, Ms Carter, Mr Hanna, Mr Edwards, Mr Jorsling and "persons unknown" to conceal material from officers.
:: Mrs Brooks and Ms Carter are also said to have "conspired together permanently" between July 6 and 9 last year to remove seven boxes of material from the NI archive.
:: Mrs Brooks, Mr Brooks, Mr Hanna, Mr Edwards and Mr Jorsling are all named on the third indictment, accused of conspiring together between July 15 and 19 of the same year to "conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment".
Both Ms Carter and Mr Hanna also released statements denying the allegations.
Solicitor Henri Brandman said his client Ms Carter "vigorously denies the commission of that or any offence".
He added: "She would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support during this most unhappy period of her life."
Mr Hanna said: "I am also innocent of the charges against me and I have no doubt that ultimately justice will prevail and I will be totally exonerated.
"I will say nothing more on this matter until then and would ask for my privacy and that of my family to be respected."
It is understood that News International has suspended Hanna and Edwards, a driver, on full pay pending the conclusion of the cases.
Scotland Yard confirmed all six will appear together in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' Court on June 13.
Mr Brooks, 49, a "writer" also of Churchill, Oxfordshire; Ms Carter, 48, of Mildmay Road, Chelmsford, Essex; Mr Jorsling, 39, of Aldershot, Surrey; Mr Edwards, 47, of Ashmore Road, west London, and Mr Hanna, 49, of Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, learned of the charges at Hammersmith, Basildon, Sutton, Belgravia and Bethnal Green respectively.
The charges are the first to be brought following Scotland Yard's multimillion-pound investigations into phone-hacking, computer hacking and corruption, which have led to 50 arrests since they began in January last year.
The latest arrests took place today and involved a 50-year-old tax official and a 43-year-old woman, detained at the same address in London by detectives investigating corrupt payments to public officials.
The decision to bring charges comes just days after Mrs Brooks lifted the lid on her close relationship with the Prime Minister at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.
But David Cameron's official spokesman declined to discuss the charges, saying it would be "improper" for him to comment on an ongoing investigation.
The PM was not informed in advance of the announcement, and they were not discussed at this morning's regular weekly Cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street, said the spokesman.
Mrs Brooks, a Warrington-born high-flyer in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire, is one of the most high-profile figures in the newspaper industry.
She became News of the World editor in 2000 aged 31, landed the top job at The Sun in 2003 and was appointed chief executive of News International in 2009 before quitting in July 2011.
Days later she was arrested over alleged phone-hacking and corruption, offences for which she remains on bail without charge.
She was arrested again in March in connection with the separate perverting the course of justice allegation, with her husband and four others.
Mr Brooks, who has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph as well as writing a novel entitled Citizen, met his wife at a party with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
News International chief executive Tom Mockridge told staff in an email it was "important that proper due process takes its course and we must not prejudge the outcome" of the cases against Hanna and Edwards.
Following the announcement of the charges, he wrote: "I appreciate this is tough news, particularly if you worked closely with those charged today.
"This is a difficult period for all of us at News International. I am deeply grateful for your continued professionalism and commitment as we deal with these issues."
what do you think?
With the monies they have at their disposal and with the full might of the Murdoc legal team behind them this is a none event. It will be laughed out of court!
So true, why waste tax payers monies on a circus!!
I don't think the scale of corruption and sheer arrogance displayed by this bunch is anything to laugh at. Perhaps for once justice may prevail, though I suspect they may yet reveal a whole new can of worms!
really ?, did I miss the verdict ?
Hopefully she is at last going to be answerable - lets hope her boss will be too
Perhaps not but Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice is still an extremely serious charge............... Let us say no more and await the outcome of the proceedings.
Yes Mavis, what planet are you living on?
shes living on planet earth karmaggot. perfectly reasonable comment on her part. Oh, and by the way. Innocent until proven guilty, just like all those corrupt labour mp's a while ago, or have all you lefties conveniently forgotten that ?
t.bulgin. Hope you havent forgotten that it was conservative (Lord Taylor) that went to prison, are you still laughing?
bet they thought they would get away with it - lets hope justice is done !
Rebekah Brooks says "We deplore this weak and unjust decision". Well she would wouldn't she. She is on the wrong side of the law and is now having to pay. I wonder what they will get for their bad conduct?
Bet Clarkson will say that they should be taken outside and shot!!
Money will talk just you wait and see!
I hope not !
Maybe, but lets hope that the courts are allowed a free hand to do their job properly and send out the right message...........PLEASE!
That will wipe the smirk off her face, I hope she has a prison sentence as she is evil.
Rebekah Brooks and others charged lets see how many police and other government officials that fed them information for money are now charged Won't hold my breath waiting
I was expecting her to be cleared courtesy of her friends in 'high places' but it seems that they may have deserted her. Hopefully this will wipe that self satisfying smirk off her grinding face !!
........this is all political B/S .................
Fine-looking gal. that. I hope she gets orf. Not too bothered though about her other "half".
Fine looking gal..! Are you having a laugh? She looks like Mick Hucknall in drag!!
tbh that's a bit of an insult to Mick !!
Not as good looking as Raisa (her retired ploice horse)!
Is there also some way of getting Jeremy Clarkson implicated in this whole sorded affair? After all, the turbo-charged motor mouth is friends and neighbours with the gruesome twosome! Just imagine the extended break the country would get from his rancid right-wing ramblings!!
or as your posh mate milliebland would say "wancid wight wing wamblings"
Its good to see the fat cats get a good lenth in clink,I hope its a long one,
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
She asked that people respect her and her families privacy? Is that some kind of joke? When did she give a toss about anyones privacy? She deserves EVERYTHING she gets.
her being charged is just the begining . this arrogant women didnt give a jot about the hurt she caused to anyone. she didnt and still doesnt seem to grasp that what she and her lap dogs got up to.watching her at the leveson inquiry only proved her total lack of remorse and her obvious disrespect for anyone or anything. i understand that any chance of her being jailed are zero but how many people out there would be delighted to see it happen. bet that would wipe the arrogant smirk of her face. come on judge make my year