Operation Elveden: CPS Charging Decision
Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), oversees CPS decision making and all potential prosecutions in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters.
Ms Levitt said: "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 Service investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.
"This announcement relates to a file of evidence received from the Metropolitan Police Service. The full file of evidence was received by the CPS on 4 March 2013.
"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Geoff Webster, who at the time of the alleged offending was Deputy Editor of The Sun newspaper, should be charged with two offences of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
"The first offence relates to allegations that Mr Webster, between July 2010 and August 2011, authorised payments totalling £6,500 for information supplied by a public official to one of his journalists.
"The second offence relates to an allegation that in November 2010, Mr Webster authorised a payment of £1,500 for information provided by an unknown public official.
"All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. These guidelines require 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 Mr Webster will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 26 March 2013.
"May I remind all concerned that proceedings for a criminal offence involving Mr Webster will now be commenced and that he 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."
The full charges are as follows:
1. Between 4 July 2010 and 12 August 2011, conspired together with a public official, a journalist and others unknown to commit misconduct in a public office. Contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977
2. Between 3 and 6 November 2010, conspired together with a person or persons unknown to commit misconduct in a public office. Contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977
Notes to Editors
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