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News Corp. Journalists Charged in Bribes for Stories Probe

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Three News Corp. journalists and a former Daily Mirror reporter were charged as part of a police investigation into bribes paid by U.K. newspapers for stories.

Graham Dudman, an editorial director at News Corp.’s U.K. unit, Vince Soodin, a reporter at News Corp.’s Sun tabloid, John Troup, a former journalist at the Sun, and ex-Trinity Mirror Plc employee Greig Box Turnbull were charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office along with five others who allegedly received bribes, U.K. police said in a statement.

The other five defendants include a prison officer and his partner, a police officer and a hospital worker, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement today. The nine suspects were ordered to appear at a London court Sept. 5.

News Corp. newspapers were initially the focus of wide-ranging investigations over the past three years that have uncovered allegations of phone hacking and bribery. Trinity Mirror tabloids were pulled into the U.K. scandals in March when police arrested four journalists linked to the newspaper, opening a new front in the investigation.

A News Corp. spokesman declined to comment on the charges. Trinity Mirror is cooperating with the police and “further updates will be made if there are any significant developments,” a spokesman for the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Dudman, formerly the managing editor of the Sun, is charged with requesting “the authorization of payments of 3,000 pounds ($4,705) to one or more police officers in exchange for information relating to ongoing police investigations,” prosecutors said.

About 90 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 by former News Corp. officials, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, is scheduled to start in September.

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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