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News Link • Hacking, Cyber Security

Key Murdoch Aide to Be Prosecuted in Hacking Case

 It was the first time that charges had been laid since the police reopened inquiries into the long-running scandal 16 months ago. The accusations are an important watershed in a wider criminal investigation that has resulted in about 50 people being arrested and released on bail by Scotland Yard teams that are delving into phone hacking, payments to public officials and other accusations of wrongdoing at two tabloid newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Those investigations seem sure to produce their own raft of criminal charges in the coming months, and could result in Ms. Brooks’s being indicted again, since she was arrested twice by the Scotland Yard investigators, once last year on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption, then again in March in the perversion of justice case. Legal experts said that the charges laid on Tuesday would almost certainly lead to a high-profile trial, in nine months or so, before High Court judges at the Old Bailey, Britain’s most famous criminal court.

The charges relate to a two-week period of high drama last summer when the full extent of the scandal was emerging: when phone hacking at The News of the World was revealed as having included a 13-year-old London schoolgirl, Milly Dowler, whose messages had been intercepted after she had been abducted and before her body was discovered, prompting Mr. Murdoch and his son James to fly to London and close down the 168-year-old tabloid. Ms. Brooks, a former editor of the paper, quickly resigned as chief executive of News International, the Murdoch newspaper subsidiary in Britain. She was arrested the first time shortly afterward.

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