The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced that Rebekah Brooks will be charged with perverting the course of justice.
This makes the former chief executive of News International the first person to face charges in Operation Weeting, the criminal investigation into phone hacking. She was initially arrested in March 2011. The inquiry, lasting over 18 months, has involved 185 police officers.
Her husband, Charlie Brooks, is also going to be charged. The racehorse trainer is a friend and former schoolmate of the Prime Minister David Cameron.
The couple, who were informed of the decision this morning when they answered bail, said:
We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station.
They will now be summoned to court to hear the formal charges against them.
The CPS said that four other people will also face charges. They are News International's head of security. Mark Hanna, Brooks’ former personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, as well as a News International chauffeur and a security consultant, who have not been named.