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LONDON – Former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks’s one-time bodyguard is to be charged with concealing potential evidence from the Scotland Yard investigations into phone hacking and the bribing of public officials.
The Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement Friday saying that David Johnson, a man described as “a security professional who was employed to provide a protection service to Rebekah Brooks,” should be charged with perverting the course of justice.
STORY: U.K. Phone Hacking Report Cites Shortcomings of Murdochs, News Corp.
Brooks, a long-time confidante of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch who used to run the company’s U.K. newspaper unit News International, is awaiting trial herself, charged with perverting the course of justice during the phone-hacking scandal and other related charges.
She quit News International in July 2011 amid the fallout from the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed Murdoch’s publishing empire.
Six others, including Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks, have already been charged over the alleged attempt to conceal evidence.
Johnson is alleged to have concealed the evidence in July 2011, when the phone-hacking scandal erupted following revelations that the News of the World had hacked the voicemail of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
STORY: Phone Hacking: Judge Targets September 2013 Trial Start, Rebekah Brooks Appears in Court
The charge reads: “David Johnson, on a day between 15 July 2011 and 19 July 2011, conspired together with Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Lee Sandell, Daryl Jorsling and Paul Edwards, and with persons unknown, to do an act or a series of acts, which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely to conceal computers and other items from officers of the Metropolitan police service who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and the Sun newspapers.”
The investigation into the alleged concealing of evidence from police is called Operation Sacha.
Johnson is scheduled to appear before Westminster magistrates court on May 8.
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