Sun executive editor Fergus Shanahan charged over payments to public official
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Thursday 18 April 2013
The Sun’s executive editor Fergus Shanahan has been charged with authorising one of his paper’s journalists to make two payments totalling £7,000 to a public official.
The alleged payments are said to have occurred between August 2006 and August 2007 when Mr Shanahan was deputy editor of the News International tabloid.
The prosecution official announcing the charges said the decision followed an investigation by Operation Elveden, the specialist Metropolitan Police unit which is examining potentially illegal payments from journalists to public official.
Alison Levitt from Crown Prosecution Service said Mr Shanahan will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court next month on a charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
The official alleged to be linked to the payments has not been named for legal reasons.
From 2003 to 2009 Mr Shanahan was number two on the UK’s top selling daily newspaper. He is the most senior current Sun journalist to face charges under the Operation Elveden inquiry.
Ms Levitt’s statement said “Our decision to prosecute was considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media.”
Mr Shanahan was one of the first Sun journalists arrested when Scotland Yard detectives widened their investigation into police corruption in January last year.
He has been on police bail since his arrest on 28 January 2012, when he was held alongside newsdesk executive, Chris Pharo, former managing editor Graham Dudman, and Mike Sullivan, The Sun's crime editor.
Mr Sullivan was told last month he would not be charged.
Mr Shanahan, a 24-year veteran at The Sun, was promoted to his executive position in November 2007 after four years as the deputy to former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks.
The Metropolitan Police has arrested over 100 people in connection with the Elveden investigation and the parallel inquiry which is looking at illegal phone message interception, Operation Weeting.
Nineteen people have so far been charged with offences.
The chief executive of News International, Mike Darcey, confirmed to staff at The Sun today their executive editor had been charged. He said News International would be offering Mr Shanahan “every support as he goes through the legal process”.
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party