London: A former deputy editor of British tabloid The Sun will face prosecution for authorising the payment of a public official for information, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Fergus Shanahan is accused of authorising a journalist from the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper to make two payments totalling 7,000 pounds (USD 10,600, 8,200 euros) in August 2006 and August 2007.
He was arrested last year in a corruption investigation set up by police following the phone-hacking scandal at The Sun's sister paper, the News of the World, which Murdoch shut down in 2011.
"Following a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that Fergus Shanahan, who served as an editor at the Sun newspaper, should be charged with an offence of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office," said Crown Prosecution Service legal advisor Alison Levitt.
The investigation into illegal payments by journalists to public officials, codenamed Operation Elveden, was set up following the exposure of scandalous practices at the News of the World.
Murdoch was forced to close the 168-year-old title after it emerged that its journalists had hacked the voicemail messages of a murdered schoolgirl as well as hundreds of public figures.
Dozens of people have been arrested as part of three probes related to the scandal: Operation Weeting into phone hacking, Operation Elveden, and Operation Tuleta into computer hacking.
Among those charged are Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World, and his predecessor Rebekah Brooks, who rose to become chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper division.
First Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 22:04