Prosecutors are to decide whether to charge four journalists with phone hacking after they were handed their files by Scotland Yard.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was yesterday given four files involving four journalists relating to the phone hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, for charging decisions.
The files, which relate to allegations of offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) and bring the total handed over to prosecutors to 18.
A CPS spokesman said: "We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing.
"We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable."
The CPS has launched prosecutions relating to just one file so far – a group of people including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie, who were charged with perverting the course of justice. All are to appear at Southwark Crown Court today.
In three other cases, one involving Guardian journalist Amelia Hill, one relating to former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, and one relating to Guardian journalist David Leigh, it has been decided that no charges will be brought.
A further 10 cases are still being considered for charging advice. They involve:
- A police officer, in relation to an allegation of misconduct in public office;
- A police officer, in relation to an alleged offence of misconduct in a public office, and other associated matters;
- A police officer, in relation to allegations of misconduct in public office and corruption;
- Seven journalists, all in relation to allegations of offences under Ripa.