Former Murdoch aides to face bribery charges

New York Times News Service /

Published Nov 21, 2012 at 04:00AM

LONDON — In a new turn in the scandals swirling around Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper outpost, prosecutors said Tuesday that two former top executives will be charged with paying bribes of up to $160,000 to public officials in addition to several earlier charges against them.

The Crown Prosecution Service identified the onetime aides as Rebekah Brooks, 44, and Andy Coulson, 44, both of whom have had close personal or professional ties to Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron hired Coulson as his director of communications while in opposition and kept him on after coming to power in the 2010 elections.

Under a new bribery act passed by Parliament in 2010, the maximum penalty for bribing a public official is 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.