Law firm: Brooks faces decision on hacking charges
LONDON – Former News of the World editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will learn Tuesday whether she faces charges stemming from Britain's phone hacking investigation, a spokesman for the law firm representing her said Monday.
Kingsley Napley spokesman Paul Askew confirmed reports in Britain's media that Brooks and her husband, Charlie, would learn of any possible charges when they answered bail on Tuesday. He declined further comment.
The 43-year-old Brooks, who resigned in July as head of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper operation, is one of the central figures in the scandal over tabloid phone hacking that has shaken Murdoch's News Corp. She has twice been arrested and questioned by police about illegal eavesdropping and obstruction of justice.
The phone hacking scandal exploded in July after revelations that the now defunct News of the World had hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she disappeared in 2002. Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old newspaper amid widespread public revulsion.
More than 40 people have been arrested and questioned by police about tabloid wrongdoing, including Brooks and Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief, Andy Coulson. Murdoch has paid out millions to settle lawsuits from 60 actors, athletes, politicians and other public figures whose voicemails were hacked. Dozens more lawsuits have been filed.
Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a judge-led inquiry to sift through the fallout and examine media ethics in Britain.
As the scandal ricocheted through the British press, it also raised questions about the close ties between British politicians and the media, chiefly Murdoch's media empire.
The inquiry has heard from reporters, police and public figures in an effort to understand why nothing was done earlier to stop the hacking.
Earlier Monday, Gus O'Donnell, the former head of Britain's civil service, said Cameron had become too close to sections of the press.
O'Donnell, who retired in December after six years of service as Britain's top civil servant and chief adviser to Cameron, told the inquiry that Cameron had "felt his relationships had got too close, and I agree with that."
Brooks testified to that inquiry last week, answering questions about her own ties to politics and Cameron.
She told the inquiry that after she stepped down amid the phone hacking scandal she had received "indirect messages" of support — text messages sent by the aides of politicians, but relaying their personal thoughts — including from the prime minister .