Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Trio to face payments probe charges

A journalist at The Sun faces charges over alleged inappropriate payments

A Sun journalist and a press officer for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office over alleged inappropriate payments, prosecutors said.

The tabloid's Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley and Jonathan Hall, from HMRC, are both facing charges, along with Mr Hall's partner Marta Bukarewicz, who is not a public official, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

It is alleged that between March 30 2008 and July 15 2011 The Sun newspaper paid £17,475 to Hall, mostly via Bukarewicz, in exchange for the unauthorised disclosure of information.

The information that was allegedly provided included details relating to the 2010 Budget and the coalition's deficit reduction plans.

Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the CPS, said: "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 unauthorised disclosure of information obtained as a result of his employment with HMRC.

"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."

Hall, 51, and Bukarewicz, 44, both from Kentish Town, north London; and Hartley, 38, from Brockley, south-east London, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on May 29.

The full wording of the charge is: "Between March 30 2008 and July 15 2011, Jonathan Hall, Marta Bukarewicz and Clodagh Hartley conspired together to commit misconduct in a public office."

They are facing charges brought as part of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard's investigation into alleged corrupt payments to public officials by journalists.

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