Nearly three years after arrests - trial set to begin of four senior Sun journalists accused over payments

A trial is set to begin at the Old Bailey in London today of four of the most senior journalists at The Sun.

They are all accused of illegally paying public officials for stories.

The trial of Sun executive editor Fergus Shanahan (pictured above) begins some three years after his arrest on 28 January 2012 on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office.

He was charged in April 2013 with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office in 2006 and 2007 by authorising two payments to a public official totalling £7,000.

Sun chief reporter John Kay (pictured top) was arrested on 11 February 2012 and charged in November 2012 with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office between 2004 and 2011 when it is alleged that Ministry of Defence official Bettina Jordan-Barber was paid a total of £100,000 by The Sun.

Sun royal editor Duncan Larcombe (pictured below) was arrested on 19 April 2012 and charged a year later with making payments of £23,000 to a member of the armed forces for stories relating mainly to the Royal Family.

Sun deputy editor Geoff Webster (pictured below) was arrested in 11 February 2012 and charged in March 2013 with authorising payments of £6,500 and £1,500 to a public official in 2010 and 2011.

All four journalists deny the charges.

Pictures: Reuters.

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