Rebekah Brooks is back in charge of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers – but the fall-out from the hacking scandal continues. Brooks’s news editor at the Sun, Chris Pharo, is going on trial later this month accused of making unlawful payments to a police officer. His co-accused is Jamie Pyatt, a former Sun news editor.
Chris Pharo and Jamie Pyatt are the only remaining British journalists facing trial for making payments to public officials. In April this year, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped similar charges charges against nine other Sun and Mirror journalists.
However it continued prosecuting Pharo and Pyatt even though jurors could not reach a verdict on their cases at Kingston Crown Court in January. Their trial is important to Operation Elveden, the Met’s £10 million investigation into bribery by journalists.
Twenty-eight officials have been prosecuted for receiving payments totaling £180,000. So far 21 police officers and other officials have been convicted of selling confidential information to tabloid papers.
The trial of Chris Pharo and Jamie Pyatt will start at the Old Bailey, central London, on Monday 21 September 2015. It is expected to last for four weeks.
Pharo and Pyatt deny the charges.
Their case is likely to centre on who knew what about payments to officials at theSun – and whether those payments amounted to misconduct in a public office.
Brooks edited the Sun between 2007 and 2009 and was a subject of controversyin the previous trial.
On Monday, she returned as chief executive of News UK, which owns the Sun,Times and Sunday Times.
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