Rebekah Brooks charged in phone hacking scandal

LONDON

Former News of the World editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 43, faces the most serious charges, including three separate allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - an offense which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Investigators said she plotted to remove documents from the newspaper offices and hid computers and other electronic devices from investigators. Brooks' husband Charlie Brooks, a racehorse trainer, Brooks' former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, the ex-head of security at News International Mark Hanna, Brooks' ex-chauffeur Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling, a member of the firm's security staff, face similar charges.

These are the first charges since police launched their investigation in January 2011. The offenses are all alleged to have taken place last July when Murdoch closed down the 168-year-old News of The World amid revelations that it had hacked the cellphone of a missing schoolgirl who was later found dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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