London: Rebekah Brooks, the former top executive of News International and a close aide of Rupert Murdoch, and her husband were bailed today, along with four other persons charged with perverting the course of justice in connection with the phone hacking scandal.
The six people linked to the phone-hacking row at the now-defunct News of the World were bailed until 22 June.
Brooks, 44, her racehorse trainer husband Charles Brooks, 49, and four former colleagues are the first to face charges in the multiple investigations related to the phone-hacking scandal.
They appeared before the Westminster Magistrates Court today.
The last high profile Briton to be charged with perverting the course of justice was novelist Jeffrey Archer, who was convicted and sentenced for four years in 2001.
The six individuals were arrested earlier, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) charged them after the case was referred to it by Scotland Yard investigators working on Operation Weeting, which is investigating phone-hacking.
The maximum sentence that a judge can impose on a defendant convicted of perverting the course of justice is life imprisonment. It is a common law offence that must be tried before a jury in a crown court.
Brooks has been charged with three charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice including the alleged removal of seven cases of material from the archive of News International and the concealing of documents and computers from officers investigating phone hacking.
The six charged by CPS are: Rebekah; Charles Brooks; Cheryl Carter (Rebekah Brooks’ personal assistant); Mark Hanna (Head of Security at News International); Paul Edwards (Rebekah Brooks’ chauffeur employed by News International; Daryl Jorsling, who provided security for Rebekah Brooks
supplied by News International.
The CPS said that Rebekah between 6 July and 19 July 2011 conspired with Charles Brooks, Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards, Daryl Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.
The second charge was that Rebekah Brooks and Cheryl Carter between 6 July and 9 July 2011 conspired together permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.
The third charge was that Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling conspired together and with persons unknown, between 15 July and 19 July 2011, to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.