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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

World

Two ex-editors charged in UK phone hack case
PTI
London, July 30, 2014
First Published: 19:05 IST(30/7/2014)
Last Updated: 19:13 IST(30/7/2014)

Two former editors at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct tabloid 'News of the World' were on Wednesday charged with conspiracy to hack phones.

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) charged the two -- former deputy editor Neil Wallis and former features editor Jules Stenson -- following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police, dubbed Operation Pinetree, which was an offshoot of the initial phone hacking inquiry.

The two are accused of conspiring to listen to voicemails between January 2003 and January 2007. Both will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on August 21.

Gregor McGill, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said it had been decided there was "sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest". He said the CPS had authorised Scotland Yard, which is leading the operation, to charge the pair. Six other journalists who were also held as part of the inquiry have already been told they will face no further action.

Separately, the BBC claims officers from Operation Pinetree have now warned about 1,300 people they may have been victims of phone hacking. The UK's phone hacking inquiry has already led to a jail term for Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications chief, Andy Coulson, for conspiracy to hack phones during his role editor at the 'News of the World'. He was jailed for 18 months, while his former colleague Rebekah Brooks was exonerated at the end of a trial earlier this month.


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