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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Charging announcement in relation to offences of perverting the course of justice against Rebekah Brooks and others

15/05/2012

Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, oversees CPS decision making, and all potential prosecutions, in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters.

 Miss Levitt said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of allegations that Rebekah Brooks conspired with her husband, Charles Brooks, and others to pervert the course of justice.

"The Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service on 27th March 2012 in relation to seven suspects:

  • Rebekah Brooks;
  • Charles Brooks;
  • Cheryl Carter - Mrs Brooks' personal assistant;
  • Mark Hanna - Head of Security at News International;
  • Paul Edwards - Mrs Brooks' chauffeur who was employed by News International; 
  • Daryl Jorsling and a seventh suspect - both of whom provided security for Mrs Brooks supplied by News International.

"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 all suspects except the seventh, there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.

"I then considered the second stage of the test, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six.

"All seven suspects have this morning been informed of my decisions.

"They are all due to answer their bail at police stations later today. When they do so, they will be charged as follows:

  • CHARGE 1 - CONSPIRACY TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

Rebekah Brooks between 6th July and 19th 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.

  • CHARGE 2 - CONSPIRACY TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

Rebekah Brooks and Cheryl Carter between 6th July and 9th July 2011 conspired together permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.

  • CHARGE 3 - CONSPIRACY TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling conspired together and with persons unknown, between 15th July and 19th July 2011,  to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

"All these matters relate to the ongoing police investigation into allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers.

"Following charge, these individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined.

"No further action will be taken against the seventh suspect.

"May I remind all concerned that these six 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."