Ex-Murdoch aides Brooks, Coulson charged with bribery


Revelations from criminal proceedings against Andy Coulson (L) and Rebekah Brooks may make David Cameron vulnerable ahead of general elections in 2015.


Leon Neal

British prosecutors charged former News International chief Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, a former editor, with bribery on Tuesday.

The Crown Prosecution Service said staffers at Rupert Murdoch’s former News of the World and The Sun newspapers made illegal payments to British officials, Agence France Presse reported.

The New York Times said the police investigation, Operation Elveden, ran in tandem with investigations into the phone hacking scandal which led to the closing of The News of the World.

Coulson, a former press chief for David Cameron with close ties to the prime minister, "allegedly paid for the Green Book, a directory of royal-family phone numbers," while Brooks "allegedly made about $159,000 in payments for stories from 2004 to 2011," the Daily Beast wrote. Five people in total were charged in the matter on Tuesday.

As the Daily Beast noted, the Brooks and Coulson have already been charged with phone hacking and are scheduled to go to trial in September 2013.

Brooks faces additional charges for an attempted cover-up, while Coulson faces "perjury charges relating to a phone-hacking trial in Scotland," according to the Daily Beast.