Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks, John Kay and Clive Goodman charged with corruption offences

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks and journalists John Kay and Clive Goodman have been charged with corruption offences.

Former News International chief executive Brooks and Sun chief reporter Kay are accused of conspiring together “and with others” to commit misconduct in public office between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012.

The dates cover the period when Brooks was editor of The Sun (2003-2009) and chief executive of News International (2009-2011).

Coulson and former NoW royal editor Goodman face two charges of conspiring together “and with a person or persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office” between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003, and 31 January 2005 and 3 June 2005. The dates correspond with Coulson's period as editor of the News of the World (2003-2007).

Brooks and Kay were charged alongside a Ministry of Defence employee named as Bettina Jordan Barber.

In a statement the CPS said: “This conspiracy relates to information allegedly provided by Bettina Jordan Barber for payment which formed the basis of a series of news stories published by the Sun.

“It is alleged that approximately £100,000 was paid to Bettina Jordan Barber between 2004 and 2011.”

Andy Coulson. Pic: Reuters

Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of allegations arising from Operation Elveden into allegations of unlawful payment by News International staff to public officials.

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Clive Goodman and Andy Coulson should be charged with two conspiracies. The allegations relate to the request and authorisation of payments to public officials in exchange for information, including a Palace phone directory known as the 'Green Book' containing contact details for the Royal Family and Members of the Household.

She added: "We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Bettina Jordan-Barber, John Kay and Rebekah Brooks should be charged with a conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012. This conspiracy relates to information allegedly provided by Bettina Jordan-Barber for payment, which formed the basis of a series of news stories published by The Sun. It is alleged that approximately £100,000 was paid to Bettina Jordan Barber between 2004 and 2011.

"All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. This guidance asks prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.

"Following charge, these individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined.

"May I remind all concerned that these five individuals now will be charged with criminal offences and that each has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

Solicitor Henri Brandman, who is representing Kay, said: "Neither my client nor I will be making any comment in respect of the matter at the present time."

Coulson said in a statement: "I am extremely disappointed by this latest CPS decision. I deny the allegations made against me and will fight the charges in court."

Rebekah Brooks

The full charges (source CPS):

Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman:

  • Charge 1: Clive Goodman and Andrew Coulson, between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003, conspired together and with a person or persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office. Contrary to s.1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977
  • Charge 2: Clive Goodman and Andrew Coulson, between 31 January 2005 and 3 June 2005, conspired together and with a person or persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office. Contrary to s.1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977

Bettina Jordan-Barber, John Kay and Rebekah Brooks:

  • Charge 1: Bettina Jordan-Barber, John Kay and Rebekah Brooks, between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012, conspired together, and with others, to commit misconduct in public office. Contrary to s.1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977

Fifty-two people have so far been arrested in the Elveden operation including at least 25 journalists.

The charge against John Kay is the first time that a serving Sun journalist has been charged with any criminal offences linked to the various hacking-related inquiries.

Kay, 68 has worked for The Sun since 1974 and was made chief reporter of the paper in 1990. In 2004 he became the first journalist to be named British Press Awards reporter of the year twice. In 2005 he featured in Press Gazette's Fleet Street Hall of Fame, listing the 40 most influential national press journalists of the modern era.

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