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Former News International security guard charged with obstructing justice

Written on:September 12, 2023
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Another ex-NI employee being charged with obstructing justice is certain to increase media distrust

The unseemly phone hacking scandal involving News International (NI) has now led to a former NI security guard being charged with conspiracy to pervert the path of justice. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) uttered Wednesday that the security guard, Lee Sandell, is the sixth person to be charged thus in connection to Scotland Yard’s investigation into the phone hacking scandal.

Lee Sandell is accused of plotting with Rebekah Brooks, the ex-NI chief executive, and four others to hide documents, electronic equipments and computers from the police. The intention could have been to create obstacles in the path of Metropolitan police officers, who were investigating the phone hacking allegations and incorrect payoffs to police officers.

The UK phone hacking scandal, which brought the issues of privacy and media ethics to the forefront, has already resulted in Rebekah Brooks being charged in May along with her spouse Charlie. Brooks’s chauffeur, Paul Edwards, and her NI security guard, Daryl Josling, were also charged in May alongside NI’s ex-security head, Mark Hanna.

As per the CPS, Sandell conspired with them between July 15 and July 19 last year.

Sandell will have to emerge at Westminster Magistrates Court on September 13.

Alison Levitt, the main legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, has remarked that the CPS was given a document of proofs, connected to Lee Sandell, by the Metropolitan Police Service on August 9 this year. This document of evidences emanated from Operation Sacha.

Levitt revealed that, after scrupulously considering this document of proofs, they have concluded that there is adequate evidence for convicting Sandell. It is in the public well-being to charge Sandell with impeding justice.

Scotland Yard verified that Sandell, from Surrey, was charged when he appeared at the Sutton police station Wednesday.

The phone hacking scandal badly damaged the popular News of the World tabloid. Subsequently, it spread to other UK newspapers. Publisher NI shut down NOTW after the exposure of the phone hacking scandal.

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Leveson inquiry: Jeremy Hunt texted James Murdoch defying legal advice
Andy Coulson, ex-editor of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, detained for perjury

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