Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of News Corp.’s now-closed News of the World tabloid in the U.K., was was released on bail after being charged with unlawfully intercepting voice-mail messages of people to get information for news stories.
Brooks, 44, was ordered to report to Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sept. 3, the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement yesterday.
Brooks and others including Andrew Coulson, who had been Prime Minister David Cameron’s press chief until the scandal broke, conspired to hack the mobile-phone messages of more than 600 people between 2000 and 2006, British authorities said.
The alleged victims included actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and the murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was reported missing in 2002.
Brooks was charged with three counts of conspiring to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority. One of the counts applied to Dowler and another to Andrew Gilchrist, a former union leader who sued News Corp.’s News International unit in February for allegedly hacking his phone.
Stephen Parkinson, a lawyer for Brooks, didn’t immediately return an e-mail yesterday after regular business hours in London.
Daisy Dunlop, a spokeswoman for News International, said in an e-mail the company had no comment on the charges.
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old tabloid last year in the wake of the scandal.