Former News Corp. execs accused of making illegal payments

LONDON — Two of Rupert Murdoch’s former U.K. editors are to be charged in connection with payments to police and public officials.

Rebekah Brooks, promoted to CEO of News International after editing British tabloids the Sun and the News of the World, and Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who became Prime Minister David Cameron’s chief spin doctor, are among several journalists who will be charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

Brooks, who like Coulson is due to be tried next September over multiple phone-hacking allegations, faces one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 31, 2012.

Coulson is to be charged with two conspiracies relating to the request and authorization of alleged payments to U.K. public officials in exchange for information, including one relating to a royal phone directory known as the “Green Book.”

The directory is said to contain contact details for the British Royal Family and members of their household.

In a statement, Coulson said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision by Blighty’s Crown Prosecution Service to press charges.

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