Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service, whose team handles CPS decision making and potential prosecutions in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters, said:
“This announcement relates to one file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police in relation to Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police's investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.
“Following careful review of the evidence we have concluded that Ben O’Driscoll, former Deputy News Editor at The Sun newspaper, should be charged with one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
“It is alleged that Ben O’Driscoll authorised payments of at least £5,000 to public officials, including police officers and employees of Broadmoor secure hospital, in exchange for information.
“This information related to details about police incidents and crimes, including information about high-profile individuals and those associated with them. It also included information relating to the health and activities of Broadmoor patients.
“Due to ongoing proceedings in Operation Elveden it would be inappropriate to say any more at this stage.
“All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. This guidance asks prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.
“Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings against Ben O’Driscoll and he will be summonsed to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 18 September 2013.
“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Ben O’Driscoll will now be commenced and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”
The full charge is as follows:
Ben O’Driscoll, between 9 August 2007 and 11 January 2011, conspired together with journalists at the Sun newspaper and public officials employed by the police and Broadmoor secure hospital and others unknown to commit misconduct in a public office Contrary to section 1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977.