Ex-security official charged in UK hacking scandal

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 12, 2012 8:52 AM
Ex-security official charged in UK hacking scandal

LONDON (Reuters) - A security official working for Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper division was charged on Wednesday with conspiring with former News International boss Rebekah Brooks and others to hinder a police investigation into alleged phone hacking.

Lee Sandell is accused of plotting with Brooks and others to conceal documents, computer and other electronic equipment from police probing claims of hacking by journalists at Murdoch's now defunct News of the World newspaper last July.

Sandell will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement.

Brooks, her husband, secretary, and three other News International staff including security officials were charged in May with the same offence.

The phone hacking scandal rocked the British establishment and Murdoch's News Corp empire, forcing him to close the News of the World and end a deal to acquire the whole of the pay-TV group BSkyB.

Prime Minister David Cameron's ex-media chief, Andy Coulson, and Brooks, a friend of Cameron's and Murdoch confidante, are among a number of former News of the World staff also charged with conspiring to hack phones.

(Writing by Alessandra Rizzo; Editing by Steve Addison)