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Phone hacking scandal: Ex-confidants of U.K. PM charged with illegal payments to government officials
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Toronto Star (One of Toronto's leading newspapers)

Toronto Star (One of Toronto's leading newspapers), November 20, 2012
Posted: November 27th, 2012

Two former confidants of Britains prime minister have been charged with conspiring to pay public officials in exchange for stories and information the latest development in the countrys establishment-shaking scandal over media malfeasance. Britains Crown Prosecution Services [said] that former tabloid editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks were among five people being charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Prosecutors said that Brooks, a neighbour, close friend, and political ally of Prime Minister David Cameron, conspired with journalist John Kay to funnel as much as 100,000 ($160,000) to Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber in return for seven years of stories that were published in Murdochs The Sun newspaper. The allegations cover 2004 to 2011, when Brooks was editor of The Sun and then in charge of News International, the parent company of Rupert Murdochs media empire. The prosecutors alleged that Coulson, who until last year served as Camerons top press aide, conspired in 2005 with former royal reporter Clive Goodman to pay officials for access to a royal phone directory known as the Green Book. The confidential directory includes home and office numbers for senior royals including two of Queen Elizabeths children, Prince Edward and Princess Anne, as well as the landline, office and mobile numbers of the royal household staff, the Telegraph reported.

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