Two senior editors on the now defunct News of the World (NOTW) were on Wednesday charged with conspiracy to hack phones between January 2003 and January 2007 with convicted former editor Andy Coulson and others at the tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the charge against ex-deputy editor Neil Wallis and ex-features editor Jules Stenson is that they conspired with Coulson and other former colleagues such as Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck to hack into phones.
Information gathered from such illegal activity was then supposed to be used in sensational stories in the mass circulation tabloid. The CPS did not mention the names of the victims whose phones were hacked into.
Gregor McGill, a senior CPS lawyer, said: “The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Jules Stenson, former features editor of the News of the World and to summons Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of the World with an offence of conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, commonly known as ‘phone hacking’”.
Stenson and Wallis will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 21. The charges were framed as part of Scotland Yard’s investigation called Operation Pinetree.
McGill added: “We have decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”
Coulson was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment earlier this month for conspiring to hack phones as part of a newsroom culture at the tabloid that prosecutors called ‘thoroughly criminal’.