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Two Sun Journalists Charged in News Corp. Bribery Probe

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June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Two News Corp. journalists at its Sun tabloid were charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office as part of a probe into bribery at the company.

Jamie Pyatt, a regional reporter at the Sun, and John Edwards, the tabloid’s photo editor, worked with others to pay more than 30,000 pounds ($46,350) to public officials, army personnel and hospital workers in exchange for information about patients and details about the work of a member of the royal family, U.K. police and prosecutors said in separate statements today.

Pyatt, 49, and Edwards, 49, were ordered to appear at a London court July 18. Robert Neave, a health care assistant at the psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, will also be charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

News Corp. newspapers have been the focus of wide-ranging investigations over the past three years that have uncovered alleged phone hacking and bribery at two tabloids. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World after revelations journalists had illegally accessed messages on the mobile phone of a murdered school girl.

About 80 journalists and public officials have been arrested in connection with the criminal probes so far. A three-month trial into allegations of voice-mail interception is scheduled to start in September.

A spokesman for News Corp.’s U.K. unit declined to comment.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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