Brooks and Coulson charged
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been charged with offences relating to the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone.
Ms Brooks has said she is "distressed and angry" at the decision, and vowed to defend herself when the case goes to trial.
Mr Coulson, who was the Prime Minister’s director of communications, is also charged with offences relating to former home secretaries Charles Clarke and David Blunkett.
In total, the Crown Prosecution Service will pursue prosecutions against eight of the 13 people arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Weeting investigation into phone hacking, with two decisions deferred. All eight defendants will appear on court on 16 August.
Ms Brooks, the former News International chief executive, said: “I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship. I am distressed and angry that the CPS have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage.
"The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations.”
Mr Coulson has also vowed to "fight these allegations", and said the idea he had damaged the Milly Dowler investigation was "simply untrue".
Former News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck and ex-private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who has been jailed before for hacking, are among the other people who have also been charged. Mr Thurlbeck said he would "vigorously fight" to clear his reputation.
The eight will be the first to go on trial for phone hacking since the paper’s royal editor Clive Goodman was jailed in 2006.
John Whittingdale, chair of the Culture Select Committee, said Mr Coulson's charges were "embarrassing" for the Prime Minister.