UK Prosecutors will charge Rebekah Brooks, the former News Corp chief, with conspiring to obstruct justice in the media group’s infamous hacking scandal.
The decision marks the first charges filed in a wide-ranging criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the U.S. media company’s British tabloids.
Brooks, who served as editor of the News of the World and the Sun tabloids before running all of News Corp.’s newspapers in the U.K., is due to be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with perverting the course of justice.
Prosecutors also plan to charge her husband, Charles Brooks; her former assistant; her chauffeur; and two men who provided security for Brooks.
The obstruction charges relate to the continuing police investigation into phone hacking and the alleged corruption of public officials by News Corp. titles.
Brooks has also been previously arrested on suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications, but she wasn’t charged Tuesday in relation to either of the previous allegations. She remains on bail for those.
The planned charges spelled out by prosecutors date to July 6-19 of last year.
The phone-hacking scandal – the subject of a police probe since Jan. 2011 – boiled over following a July 5 article in the Guardian alleging that the News of the World hacked the phone of a missing teenage girl, who was later found dead.
Days later, News Corp. shut down the News of the World after 168 years.
Rebekah Brooks, a longtime protégé of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, faces three charges in the sensational case.