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2 UK journalists face charges in corruption probe

LONDON  — Two journalists for The Sun newspaper will be charged with allegedly paying public officials for information about psychiatric patients and a member of the royal family, British authorities said today.

The charges are the latest in a series of bribery-related allegations against journalists at the best-selling tabloid.

The Sun’s Jamie Pyatt and John Edwards will be charged along with Robert Neave — a former health care assistant at Broadmoor, a well-known hospital for the criminally insane — with conspiring together “and with public officials known” to commit misconduct in a public office, prosecutors said.

The unidentified alleged conspirators include public officials employed at Broadmoor, employees of two separate police forces and British army officials, prosecutors said. They allege that over nearly nine years, The Sun paid more than 30,000 pounds ($46,500) to public officials, including Neave, for information including about the health and activities of Broadmoor patients, details about a royal family member’s work and facts about police investigations.

The charges are being brought as part of Operation Elveden, an investigation into allegations that newspapers were paying police and other officials for information.

The inquiry is running alongside investigations into phone and computer hacking sparked by the discovery that reporters at Rupert Murdoch’s now-closed News of the World tabloid regularly intercepted voicemails.

More than 30 people have been charged in the scandal, including journalists, police officers and former executives at Murdoch’s newspapers.

Half-a-dozen senior current and former reporters from The Sun have found themselves facing charges. The Sun did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pyatt, Edwards and Neave will appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 18.

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