LONDON – A man who provided protection for the former chief executive of News International has been charged in relation to Britain’s wide-ranging phone-hacking investigation, British authorities said Friday.
Scotland Yard said David Johnson, 47, allegedly conspired with Rebekah Brooks and five others in July 2011 to conceal computers and other items from officers investigating allegations of phone hacking and bribery at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World and The Sun tabloids.
Johnson is charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He will appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 8.
Brooks and her husband, Charlie, have already been charged in relation to the scandal, which exploded in 2011 after it was revealed that journalists at the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid routinely hacked into the voicemail messages of the rich, the powerful and other potential information sources.
The scandal rocked Britain’s establishment and spawned a substantial police investigation and a host of official inquiries. Allegations of wrongdoing have since spread to other papers outside the Murdoch empire, and scores of journalists, police officials, and executives have been arrested or dismissed from their jobs.