A reporter at News Corp.’s Sun newspaper will be charged with paying 23,000 pounds ($35,000) in bribes to a soldier and his wife for stories relating to the British royal family.
Duncan Larcombe, who was the Sun’s chief royal correspondent, made 34 payments from 2006 through 2008 to John Hardy and his wife, Claire, U.K. prosecutors said in a statement today. John Hardy was a sergeant at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst where Princes William and Harry were commissioned.
About 17 people have been charged in the police investigation into bribery allegations uncovered as part of a wider probe into wrongdoing at News Corp.’s U.K. newspapers. Prosecutors last week said Fergus Shanahan, the Sun’s executive editor, should be charged with approving other bribes by a journalist.
Hardy, his wife and Larcombe were charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
A fourth suspect at Sandhurst will also be charged with accepting a bribe. Tracy Bell, who was as a pharmacy assistant at the facility’s medical center, received 1,250 pounds between October 2005 and July 2006 for information that featured in five articles in the Sun that related to Sandhurst, prosecutors said.
Larcombe, Bell, and John and Claire Hardy are scheduled to appear at a London criminal court on May 8. Mary Kearney, a spokeswoman at News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s U.K. unit, declined to comment.
Police today arrested a 62nd suspect today in the bribery probe, known as Operation Elveden.
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