LONDON, May 15 (RAPSI) - Britain's prosecutors say The Sun's Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley has been charged over a conspiracy to pay thousands of pounds worth of bribes to a press officer of the British government's tax department.
Prosecutors believe that The Sun paid 17,475 pounds ($26,700) worth of bribes to press officer Jonathan Hall in return for sensitive information, said Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service.
Jonathan Hall, 51, and his partner Marta Bukarewicz, 44, who is thought to have been a go-between in the affair, have also been charged with collusion to "commit misconduct in a public office". The charges have been brought as part of Operation Elveden, an ongoing police investigation into corruption payments from journalists to public officials.
"It is alleged that between March 30, 2008 and July 15, 2011, The Sun newspaper paid ?17,475 to Jonathan Hall, mostly via Marta Bukarewicz, in exchange for the unauthorized disclosure of information obtained as a result of his employment with HMRC," Gregor McGill said.
"The information allegedly provided included details about government plans, including upcoming but as yet unannounced spending and policy decisions relating to the 2010 budget and the coalition government's deficit reduction plans. Information also related specifically to policy and decision-making within HMRC, including that relating to job losses and casework," he said.
The three will stand trial on May 29.