London: Media baron Rupert Murdoch's top executive Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged over phone hacking and will appear in court next month, Scotland Yard has said.
44-year-old Brooks, a former News of the World (NoW) editor, answered bail at Lewisham police station and will appear before Westminster magistrates on September 3.
Last week it was announced that Brooks and six other former News of the World journalists would be charged with conspiring to intercept communications.
The others charged, including Prime Minister David Cameron's former aide Andy Coulson, will appear in court on August 16, the BBC reported.
Coulson was communications chief under Cameron.
The seven stand accused of conspiring to intercept voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.
Brooks and Coulson, 44, face specific charges relating to the voicemail of murdered Surrey schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
The other former NoW staff who have been formally charged are ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.
Brooks, insisted she was innocent in a statement issued last week when the Crown Prosecution Service announced it was bringing charges.
"The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations," she said.
The charge of conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine.
Brooks already faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, linked to the investigation into phone hacking.
She and five others, including her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, who faces one count of the same offence, are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on September 26.
First Published: Friday, August 3, 2012, 18:43