Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer admits CPS 'faces tough decisions' on phone hacking cases
PUBLISHED April 18, 2012
The four files deal with allegations relating to four journalists, one police officer and six other suspects, said Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions.
It is the first time that police have asked prosecutors to consider whether charges should be brought since the investigation was launched in January last year.
Offences under consideration include misconduct in a public office, data protection act breaches, perverting the course of justice, witness intimidation and breaches of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa).
Mr Starmer refused to give a timescale for a charging decision but said: "We are now entering a period where we are likely to make a decision one way or another."
Some of the suspects referred to in the files have not been questioned by police yet, he said.
A total of 43 people arrested under the various operations sparked by disclosures of phone hacking at the News of the World remained on bail, Mr Starmer added.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that one file related to one journalist and one police officer in relation to allegations of misconduct in public office.
Another detailed claims against one journalist and six other members of the public over perverting the course of justice.
A further file related to a journalist in relation to alleged offences of witness intimidation and harassment while a fourth related to a journalist and alleged offences under RIPA.
A spokeswoman said: "We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing.
"We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable."
Mr Starmer said: "These just happen to be the four files we have got, there may be others. We don't know."
He said the files relate to four investigations being carried out at the Metropolitan Police: Weeting, Elveden, Kilo and Sasha.