Sun's Clodagh Hartley charged with paying HMRC press officer for details about 2010 Budget

Sun Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley and two others have been charged under Operation Elveden with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

It is alleged that between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011 the newspaper paid £17,475 to press officer Jonathan Hall, via his partner Marta Bukarewicz, in exchange for HMRC information. 

Here is the full statement from the Crown Prosecution Service:

 

"This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.

 

"This announcement relates to a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service that was received by the CPS on 14 March 2013.

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Clodagh Hartley, a journalist at the Sun newspaper, Jonathan Hall, employed as a Press Officer at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Marta Bukarewicz, partner of Mr Hall and not a public official, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

"It is alleged that between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011 The Sun newspaper paid £17,475 to Jonathan Hall, mostly via Marta Bukarewicz, in exchange for the unauthorised disclosure of information obtained as a result of his employment with HMRC.

"The information provided included details about government plans, including upcoming but as yet unannounced spending and policy decisions relating to the 2010 Budget and the coalition government’s deficit reduction plans. Information also related specifically to policy and decision-making within HMRC, including that relating to job losses and casework.

"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.

"Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings and all three individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 29 May 2013.

"May I remind all concerned that proceedings for a criminal offence involving these three individuals will now be commenced 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."

Hartley became arrest number 30 in Operation Elveden on 25 May when she was arrested at 9am at Bromley Police Station. At the time she was described only as a 37-year-old woman.

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