The Sun ’s chief foreign correspondent, Nick Parker, is to be charged with conspiring to pay a prison officer for leaks about well-known individuals.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) made the announcement about Mr. Parker and the prison officer, Lee Brockhouse, on Tuesday following a police investigation under Operation Elveden.
In a separate development, T he Sun ’s deputy news editor, John Sturgis, was told on Tuesday that he would face no further action after being arrested last February under Operation Elveden.
In a memo to staff, the News International chief executive Mike Darcey said: “We are grateful to John for continuing with his sterling work on the paper whilst under investigation and he will now be able to carry on with his life without that burden.
Mr. Darcey said he was “disappointed” at the decision to charge Mr. Parker, who he said had been “working hard and producing terrific stories”. Mr. Parker will be provided with legal support, said Mr. Darcey.
The Sun is alleged to have paid £1,750 to Mr. Brockhouse between April 2007 and October 2009 for unauthorised leaks about prisoners.
The CPS said that Mr. Brockhouse, a prison officer at HMP Swaleside in Kent, is alleged to have provided similar information to Trinity Mirror’s Sunday People newspaper for £900.
Mr. Parker has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. Mr. Brockhouse has been charged with one count of misconduct in a public office and one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Mr. Parker and Mr. Brockhouse will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court in London on 11 July.Mr. Parker was among the second group of Sun journalists to be arrested under Operation Elveden in February 2012.
He is the sixth current Sun journalist facing charges under the Scotland Yard inquiry into alleged payments by reporters to police and public officials. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013