- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Ex-News of the World editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, her husband and four others will face charges over Britain’s tabloid phone hacking scandal, British prosecutors said Thursday.

Brooks, 43, will face three separate allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to alleged attempts to hide evidence related to hacking from police.

Alison Levitt, the principal legal advisor to Britain’s Director of Public Prosecutions, said the ex-editor’s husband Charlie Brooks, a racehorse trainer, will also face similar charges.

Brooks‘ former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, the ex-head of security at News International Mark Hanna, Brooks‘ chauffeur and a member of the firm’s security staff also face allegations of obstruction of justice.

The charges are the first to be filed since police launched a new inquiry into phone hacking in Jan. 2011.

“All these matters relate to the ongoing police investigation into allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers,” Levitt said.

She confirmed that a seventh person, who was also a member of security staff, would not face any charges.

In a statement, Brooks and her husband said the decision to file charges was unjust.

“We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station,” the couple said in a statement.

Levitt said that all six people charged will be formally charged later Tuesday and appear in due course for hearings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. No dates have been set for the hearings.