Prosecutors study hacking investigation files


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The Independent Online

Prosecutors are to decide whether to charge five journalists with phone hacking after they were handed their files by Scotland Yard.

The Crown Prosecution Service was today given five files involving five journalists relating to the phone hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, for charging decisions.

The files relate to allegations of offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and bring the total handed over to prosecutors to 12.

A spokeswoman said: "We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing.

"We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable."

A total of 12 files relating to the phone-hacking inquiry have now been sent to prosecutors.

The CPS has launched prosecutions relating to just one file so far - including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie who were charged with perverting the course of justice and will appear in court alongside four others on Wednesday.

Two other files, one involving Guardian journalist Amelia Hill and one relating to former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, have been dropped.

As well as today's five cases, four others are still being considered for charging advice.

They are:

:: One journalist in relation to alleged offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa);

:: A police officer in relation to an allegation of misconduct in a public office;

:: A police officer in relation to alleged misconduct in a public office and other associated matters.

:: A police officer in relation to allegations of misconduct in public office and corruption.