|Senior editor of UK tabloid Sun faces illegal payments rap
Prosecutors in Britain say that The Sun newspaper's deputy editor Geoff Webster has been charged with authorizing thousands in illegal payoffs to government officials.
The charges are among the most serious so-far leveled against journalists caught up in Britain's wide-ranging media ethics scandal. Newspaper executives, senior journalists, and high-profile police figures have been produced in courts, AP reports.
Rupert Murdoch's News International confirmed that Webster is still an employee of the tabloid.
Webster authorized payments by reporters to public officials totalling £8,000 in separate incidents between 2010 and 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
A number of other journalists working for The Sun have been arrested as part of Operation Elveden, AFP reported.
In January, its defence editor Virginia Wheeler was charged with paying a policeman more than 6,450 for information, including details about the death of a 15-year-old girl.
The police investigation runs alongside Operation Weeting, the probe into phone-hacking sparked by the scandal at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World weekly tabloid.
The scandal, in which journalists illegally accessed the voicemails of hundreds of celebrities, public figures and victims of crime, has also led to an overhaul of press regulation.