BUSTED: Former News Corp. Head Facing Life in Prison

Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News Corp.’s (NASDAQ:NWSA) British publishing unit and close friend of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, has been charged with trying to cover up the tabloid’s photo-hacking scandal. Brooks faces three charges in the U.K. for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Brook’s husband, her former personal assistant, and three other people were also charged.

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Brooks conspired to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International during police investigations into phone hacking and bribery of public officials at News of the World and The Sun. According to prosecutors, Brooks also conspired to conceal documents, computers, and other electronic equipment from officers.

The charges against Brooks come four days after she testified at a media inquiry triggered by the scandal about her ties to Murdoch, Prime Minister David Cameron, and other politicians in England. The phone-hacking scandal prompted News Corp. to close News of the World and forgo its 7.8 billion-pound bid for British Sky Broadcasting.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in the matter. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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