Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson 'conspired to hack' Milly Dowler and 600 others

 

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

In all seven senior News of the World journalists are being charged with conspiring to intercept the voicemails of a total of 600 victims, the Crown Prosecution announced today.

Glenn Mulcaire, the paper’s private detective, will also face charges in relation four victims including the 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.

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 the 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 with offences under the 1977 Criminal Law Act at police stations.

At a press conference in central London, the CPS’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.

Under these additional offences, Coulson - who became head of communications for the Prime Minister David Cameron - is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler, Calum Best, Charles Clarke and David Blunkett.

Brooks, News International’s chief executive until last July, is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler and the former FBU leader Andrew Gilchrist.

The former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck is charged in relation to seven alleged victims including Milly Dowler and the former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Other former senior NoW staff being charged are news editors Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup.

Ms Levitt said: “All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006. The communications in question are the voicemail messages of well-known people and / or those associated with them. There is a schedule containing the names of over 600 people whom the prosecution will say are the victims of this offence.”

She added: “In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications.”

These are the additional charges – and the victims:

Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges:

1. The first relates to the voicemails of the late Milly Dowler

2. The second to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist

Andrew Coulson will face four additional charges, relating to the following victims:

1. Milly Dowler

2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

3. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke, and

4. Calum Best

Stuart Kuttner will face two additional charges, relating to:

1. Milly Dowler and

2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

Greg Miskiw will face nine further charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

1. Milly Dowler

2. Sven-Goran Eriksson

3. Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie

4. Andrew Gilchrist

5. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

6. Delia Smith

7. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

8. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and

9. Wayne Rooney

Ian Edmondson will face a further eleven charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

1. the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

2. the Rt Hon Charles Clarke

3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller

4. Mark Oaten

5. Wayne Rooney

6. Calum Best

7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

8. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott

9. Professor John Tulloch

10. Lord Frederick Windsor

11. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Neville Thurlbeck will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

1. Milly Dowler

2. Sven-Goran Eriksson

3. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

5. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

6. Mark Oaten

7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

James Weatherup will face a further seven  charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

1. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

2. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller

4. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

5. Wayne Rooney

6. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott

7. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

For legal reasons Glenn Mulcaire does not face the first of these charges.  However, he will face four charges, relating to:

1. Milly Dowler

2. Andrew Gilchrist

3. Delia Smith

4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

Ms Levitt said: “During June and July 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service received files of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service, relating to thirteen suspects. This has followed a period of consultation and cooperation between police and prosecutors which has taken place over many months.

“All the evidence has now carefully been considered. Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to eight of these thirteen suspects there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to one or more offences.

“I then considered the second stage of the test, applying the DPP’s interim guidelines on assessing the public interest in cases involving the media, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of these eight suspects.

“The eight who will be charged are: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.

“They will face a total of nineteen charges in all.”

Click here for the full charge list