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Rupert Murdoch empire's Rebekah Brooks charged in hacking scandal

(CBS/AP) LONDON - Ex-News of the World editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband will face charges of attempting to "pervert the course of justice" over Britain's tabloid phone hacking scandal.

Brooks, 43, will face three separate allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to alleged attempts to hide evidence related to hacking from police.

Alison Levitt, the principal legal advisor to Britain's Director of Public Prosecutions, said the ex-editor's husband Charlie Brooks, a racehorse trainer, will also face similar charges.

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Brooks' former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, the ex-head of security at News International Mark Hanna, Brooks' chauffeur and a member of the firm's security staff also face allegations of obstruction of justice.

The charges are the first to be laid since police launched a new inquiry into phone hacking in Jan. 2011.

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In a statement, Brooks and her husband called the decision to file charges unjust.

"We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station," the couple said.

Brooks was a trusted manager at the top of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's empire of newspapers and television channels, which spans from New York to his native Australia, and to almost every other corner of the planet.

She and her husband are also friends with current U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and during her reign atop the widely read News of the World, she enjoyed extraordinary access to Cameron and other top politicians in Britain.

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