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Britain charges Sun, Daily Mirror journalists with bribery offenses

Reporter Sarah Hashim-Waris has details on four journalists from Britain's Sun and Daily Mirror newspapers who were charged with bribing officials for information; the charges stem from an ongoing government investigation into media misconduct.

LONDON – British prosecutors on Tuesday charged four journalists from the Sun and Daily Mirror newspapers and five public officials with bribery offenses, in the latest legal action stemming from an ongoing investigation into media misconduct.

The Crown Prosecution Service  said the Sun's former managing editor, Graham Dudman, and two journalists, John Troup and Vince Soodin, were accused of making thousands of dollars' worth of illegal payments to public officials in return for sensitive information.

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Dudman faces three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office for allegedly requesting the authorization of payments to police and other officials from 2002 to 2007. He and Troup have since left the paper.

Two similar counts were brought against  Greig Box Turnbull,  a former editor at the Daily Mirror who is accused of bribing prison officers from 2005 to 2012 for information about high-profile inmates.

Three prison officers, a police officer and a former assistant technical instructor at the high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor also face charges of misconduct in public office for allegedly receiving illegal payments from journalists.

The nine suspects are due to appear in court Sept. 5.

The inquiry was launched after revelations in the summer of 2011 that journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s now-shuttered News of the World tabloid had been intercepting the voicemail messages of celebrities and other subjects, including a kidnapped 13-year-old girl who was later found slain. 

Although the investigation initially focused on Murdoch’s News Corp. media empire, which includes the Sun, it has since expanded to other news organizations. Turnbull is the first journalist from the Mirror Group to be charged since the phone hacking scandal broke.

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Stobart is a news assistant in The Times' London bureau.

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