Rebekah Brooks to learn whether she faces phone hacking charges

May 15, 2012
The Mole

Brooks and her husband Charlie will find out this morning if they are to be charged with perverting the course of justice

Getty Images

REBEKAH BROOKS could be facing a minimum jail term of four months if she is charged this morning with perverting the course of justice in the mobile phone hacking scandal. The former News International chief executive could be the first big scalp – and others in the Murdoch empire who have been arrested would start to feel very nervous.

The Crown Prosecution Service sentencing guidelines for perversion of justice recommends minimum sentences of four months and maximum sentences of one to two years per incident. Those jailed for the offence have included Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken.

Brooks will hear at 10am whether she is to be charged with her husband and five of her former News International colleagues. Brooks's former PA, Cheryl Carter, News International's head of security, Mark Hanna, a driver used by NI and some NI security guards will also hear their fate moments before a statement by Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Rupert Murdoch claimed at the Leveson inquiry that he, his son James and Brooks were victims of a cover-up at NI and kept in the dark about the extent of phone hacking by other senior executives and lawyers.

Rebekah and her husband Charlie Brooks were arrested in March as part of Operation Sacha, an investigation into alleged attempts to destroy material relating to Scotland Yard's inquiries into phone-hacking, computer hacking and corrupt payments to public officials.

The arrests followed reports that News International instigated an 'email deletion policy' as celebrity victims of phone-hacking began suing its subsidiary, News Group Newspapers, publisher of the News of the World.

Last month, a file on the seven was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Metropolitan Police team investigating phone-hacking.

Police seized a laptop computer, paperwork and a mobile phone dumped in a bag in a bin near the Brooks's Chelsea apartment last year - the day after Mrs Brooks had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and of corrupting police officers.

Mrs Brooks's spokesman said at the time that the bag and its contents belonged to Charlie Brooks and were nothing to do with Mrs Brooks or the phone-hacking case.

Sign up for our daily newsletter