Rebekah Brooks, a close confidante of Rupert Murdoch, was charged on Tuesday with interfering with a police investigation into a phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the tycoon's media empire and sent shockwaves through the British political establishment.
Brooks was charged with concealing material from detectives, conspiring to remove boxes of archive records from Murdoch's London headquarters, and hiding documents, computers and other electronic equipment from the police.
The news is a personal blow for Murdoch and also embarrassing for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was close friends with Brooks and her husband and sent her messages of support when the alleged offences took place.
"I have concluded ... there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction," said Alison Levitt, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
"All these matters relate to the ongoing police investigation into allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers," Levitt said.
Also charged were Brooks's racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, her secretary and other staff including her driver and security officials from News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp media empire.
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