LONDON — Rebekah Brooks, a confidante of Rupert Murdoch, was charged Tuesday with interfering with a police investigation into a phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the media tycoon’s empire and sent shock waves through the British political establishment.
Brooks, 43, was charged with conspiring to remove boxes of archive records from Murdoch’s London headquarters, concealing material from detectives, and hiding documents, computers and other electronic equipment from police. If found guilty, she could face a prison sentence.
The charges against Brooks, her husband and four others are the first since police relaunched an investigation into alleged illegal practices at Murdoch’s British newspapers after accusations that the extent of wrongdoing had been covered up. All six are due to appear in court in London on June 13.
The news is a personal blow for the world’s most powerful media boss and an embarrassment for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was close friends with Brooks and sent her text messages of support when the alleged offenses took place.