UK phone-hacking: Senior police officer charged

April Casburn is charged under Operation Elveden, which is probing alleged payments to public officials by journalists.

London: In the first case of a police officer being charged as part of an operation related to the phone-hacking at the `News of the World` tabloid, a senior female Metropolitan police officer was today charged with misconduct in public office.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that detective chief inspector April Casburn (53) had been charged under Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged payments to public officials by journalists for information to be used in news stories.

Casburn, who is accused of offering to give the tabloid information in September 2010, was bailed this evening and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates` Court on 1 October for an initial hearing.

"The CPS received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service which arose from Operation Elveden in relation to April Casburn. Ms Casburn is employed by the Metropolitan Police Service as a detective chief inspector in specialist operations", the CPS`s principal legal adviser Alison Levitt said.

"We have concluded, having carefully considered the file of evidence, that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge DCI Casburn with misconduct in public office," Levitt added.

So far 50 people have been arrested under the operation, but Casburn is the first person to be charged.

Top individuals related to phone hacking inquiry, such as Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, have been charged under Operation Weeting, which is investigating phone-hacking.

A Scotland Yard statement said that Casburn, who is a Detective Chief Inspector in Specialist Operations, attended a police station in Essex today and was charged with misconduct in a public office, contrary to common law, on 11 September 2010, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court.