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Operation Weeting - CPS charging decisions

24/07/2012

Statement from Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP):

This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in relation to Operation Weeting.

During June and July 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service received files of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service, relating to thirteen suspects. This has followed a period of consultation and cooperation between police and prosecutors which has taken place over many months.

All the evidence has now carefully been considered. Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to eight of these thirteen suspects there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to one or more offences.

I then considered the second stage of the test, applying the DPP's interim guidelines on assessing the public interest in cases involving the media, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of these eight suspects.

The eight who will be charged are: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.

They will face a total of nineteen charges in all. The full wording of all the charges will be made available, which will include the names of others whom the prosecution say are victims, but for now I shall summarise them as follows.

All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3rd October 2000 to 9th August 2006. The communications in question are the voicemail messages of well-known people and/or those associated with them. There is a schedule containing the names of over 600 people whom the prosecution will say are the victims of this offence.

In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications, as follows:

Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges:

  • the first relates to the voicemails of the late Milly Dowler
  • the second to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist 

Andrew Coulson will face four additional charges, relating to the following victims:

  • Milly Dowler
  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke, and
  • Calum Best 

Stuart Kuttner will face two additional charges, relating to:

  • Milly Dowler and
  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP 

Greg Miskiw will face nine further charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

  • Milly Dowler
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson
  • Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie
  • Andrew Gilchrist
  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
  • Delia Smith
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
  • Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and
  • Wayne Rooney 

Ian Edmondson will face a further eleven charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:

  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
  • Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
  • Mark Oaten
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Calum Best
  • the Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills
  • the Rt Hon Lord Prescott
  • Professor John Tulloch
  • Lord Frederick Windsor
  • Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills 

Neville Thurlbeck will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

  • Milly Dowler
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson
  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
  • Mark Oaten
  • the Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

James Weatherup will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:

  • the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
  • Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
  • Wayne Rooney
  • the Rt Hon Lord Prescott
  • Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills 

For legal reasons, Glenn Mulcaire does not face the first of these charges. However, he will face four charges, relating to:

  • Milly Dowler
  • Andrew Gilchrist
  • Delia Smith, and
  • the Rt Hon Charles Clarke 

In relation to three of the remaining suspects, I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction. It follows that no further action will be taken in relation to them. Because others are now about to be charged, it would not be appropriate for me to give reasons for these decisions at this stage. 

There are two suspects in relation to whom the police have asked me to defer making a decision whilst further enquiries are made. For this reason I do not intend to give their names or say anything further about them at this stage. 

The eleven suspects have this morning been informed of my decision. They are all due to answer their bail at police stations. When they do so, the eight whom I have already named will be charged. Following charge, these individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined. 

The police intend to contact all the victims who will then be told that their names appear on the indictment. Once all have been informed the full list of those whom the prosecution says were victims will be made available. 

May I remind all concerned that these eight 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.

Ends

Charges in full:

  1. CHARGE 1: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, between the 3rd day of October 2000 and the 9th day of August 2006  conspired together, and with Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman and persons unknown,  to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of well-known people and those associated with them, including but not limited to those whose names appear on schedule 1.
  2. CHARGE 2: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw and Neville Thurlbeck, between the 9th day of April 2002 and the 21st day of April 2002, conspired together and with persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Amanda Dowler, also known as Milly Dowler.
  3. CHARGE 3: Greg Miskiw and Neville Thurlbeck, between 13th day of May 2002 and the 29th day of June 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Sven-Goran Eriksson and persons associated with Sven-Goran Eriksson, including Faria Alam.
  4. CHARGE 4: Greg Miskiw between the 22nd day of October  2002 and the 21st day of July 2006, conspired with Glenn Mulcaire  and with persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie  and those associated with Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie, including Matthew McGuiness.
  5. CHARGE 5: Rebekah Brooks, Glenn Mulcaire and Greg Miskiw, between the 3rd day of December 2002 and the 22nd day of January 2003, conspired together and with persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Andrew Gilchrist.
  6. CHARGE 6: Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, between the 1st day of  January 2004 and the 29th day of July 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of persons associated with The Right Honourable David Blunkett MP, including some or all of the following: Kimberley Quinn, Sally King (nee Anderson), Andrew King, John Anderson and Jason Carey.
  7. CHARGE 7: Glenn Mulcaire and Greg Miskiw, between the 28th day of February 2005 and the 12th day of March 2005 conspired together and with persons unknown to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Delia Smith and of persons associated with Delia Smith, including  Michael Wynn-Jones and Ian Christmas.
  8. CHARGE 8: Andrew Coulson, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, between the 6h day of April 2005 and the 22nd  day of June 2005, conspired together and with persons unknown to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of persons associated with The Right Honourable Charles Clarke, who included either or both of the following: Hannah Pawlby and Lucy Pawlby.
  9. CHARGE 9: Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson and James Weatherup between the 1st day of July 2005 and the 1st day of June 2006, conspired together, and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of  Jude Law and persons associated with Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, who included some or all of the following:  Jade Schmidt, Archie Keswick and Ben Jackson.
  10. CHARGE 10: Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, between the 5th day of July 2005 and the  4th day of May 2006, conspired together, and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of persons associated with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who included Eunice Huthart.
  11. CHARGE 11: Ian Edmondson and Neville Thurlbeck, between the 9th day of January 2006 and the 6th day of May 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Mark Oaten.
  12. CHARGE 12: Ian Edmondson and James Weatherup, between the 17th day of January 2006 and the 1st day of August 2006, conspired together, and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Wayne Rooney and persons associated with Wayne Rooney, who included either or both of the following: Laura Jane Rooney and Patricia Tierney. 
  13. CHARGE 13: Greg Miskiw, between the 17th day of January 2006 and 1st day of August 2006  conspired with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Wayne Rooney and persons associated with Wayne Rooney, who included either or both of the following: Laura Jane Rooney and Patricia Tierney.
  14. CHARGE 14: Andrew Coulson and Ian Edmondson, between the 23 March  2006 and the 21st  day of May 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Calum Best.
  15. CHARGE 15: Ian Edmondson and Neville Thurlbeck between the 2nd day of March 2006 and the 26th day of July 2006, conspired with Glenn Mulcaire and with persons unknown to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of The Right Honourable Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills.
  16. CHARGE 16: Ian Edmondson and James Weatherup, between the 24th day of April 2006 and the 22nd day of June 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of persons associated with The Right Honourable Lord Prescott, who included some or all of the following: Tracey Temple, Joan Hammell and Alan Schofield.
  17. CHARGE 17: Ian Edmondson, between the 25th day of April 2006 and the 15th day of May 2006, conspired with Glenn Mulcaire and with persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Professor John Tulloch and persons associated with Professor John Tulloch, who included some or all  of the following: John Davies, Maire Messenger Davies and Janet Andrew.
  18. CHARGE 18: Ian Edmondson, between the 25th day of April 2006 and the 1st day of June 2006, conspired with Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Lord Frederick Windsor.
  19. CHARGE 19: Ian Edmondson and James Weatherup, between the 15th day of May 2006 and the 29th day of June 2006, conspired together and with Glenn Mulcaire and with persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority, namely the voicemail messages of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, and of persons associated with Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, including some or all of the following: Fiona Mills, Stuart Bell, Alan Edwards and Chris Terrill.