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Operation Sacha: CPS decides David Johnson will face prosecution

03/05/2013

Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service, whose team handles CPS decision making and potential prosecutions in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters, said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Sacha, which is the Metropolitan Police Service investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice relating to Operation Weeting and Operation Elveden.

"This announcement relates to a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service that was received by the CPS on 8 March 2013.

"Following a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that David Johnson, a security professional who was employed to provide a protection service to Rebekah Brooks, should be charged with an offence of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice.

"It is alleged that between the 15 and 19 July 2011, Mr Johnson conspired to pervert the course of justice by concealing computers and other items from the Metropolitan Police Service during its investigation into allegations of phone hacking and the corruption of public officials by journalists. It is alleged that he conspired with the six defendants already charged in relation to this aspect of Operation Sacha. 

"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings and Mr Johnson will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 8 May 2013.

"May I remind all concerned that proceedings for a criminal offence involving Mr Johnson 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 charge is as follows:

David Johnson, on a day between 15 July 2011 and 19 July 2011, conspired together with Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Lee Sandell, Daryl Jorsling and Paul Edwards, and with persons unknown, to do an act or a series of acts, which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely to conceal computers and other items from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.