London: Key former aides of media baron Rupert Murdoch and Prime Minister David Cameron were on Tuesday charged with criminal conspiracy to hack into phones of individuals and other charges, taking the year-long phone-hacking row to a new level.
Rebekah Brooks, Murdoch's high-profile former aide and editor of the News of the World, and Andy Coulson, who was Cameron's director of communications, are among eight people who face a total of 19 charges related to phone-hacking.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Tuesday said the eight, who were arrested earlier and are currently on bail, have been informed of the charges today.
All eight have been charged with conspiring to intercept communications between 13 October 2001 and 9 August 2006.
The charges have been framed against them following evidence presented to the CPS.
The evidence was gathered during a series of ongoing inquiries initiated by Scotland Yard.
Besides Brooks and Coulson, others facing charges are former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former assistant editor Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant editor James Weatherup and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.