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U.K. Detective Charged With Breaching Official Secrets Act

The first person charged as part of the News Corp. tabloid bribery scandal in Britain appeared in a London criminal court today charged with offering to sell information to the now-defunct News of the World.

April Casburn, a detective chief inspector with the Metropolitan Police Service, was ordered to appear at a higher criminal court for a further hearing on Nov. 2. She is charged with breaching the U.K. Official Secrets Act and misconduct in a public office.

She was charged in London police’s Operation Elveden, one of three probes stemming from wrongdoing by journalists at the News of the World. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the newspaper in July 2011 to help quell public anger over the phone-hacking scandal.

The allegations related to breaching the official secrets act emerged after reporting restrictions were lifted by Judge Quentin Purdy at Westminster Magistrates Court today, a spokeswoman for the CPS said.

Eight people have been charged in the phone-hacking probe, including Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit.

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