The Crown Prosecution Service has so far spent more than £1.2m on pursuing phone-hacking cases against journalists, new figures show.
The CPS has previously revealed that the cost of the hacking trial involving Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks was £1,794,864. Of this, an estimated £1.1m was spent towards the Operation Weeting (phone-hacking) part of the trial.
And new figures show that the price of prosecuting the News of the World’s Neil Wallis (pictured, Reuters) – who was last month found not guilty of the crime – and Jules Stenson, who pleaded guilty, so far stands at £104,852.
Included in the total also is £5,370 spent on prosecuting former Sunday Mirror investigations editor Graham Johnson, who pleaded guilty before trial.
The main hacking trial saw Coulson and Brooks – both former News of the World editors – on trial alongside Brooks’ husband, Charlie, her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, News International’s head of security Mark Hanna, former royal editor Clive Goodman and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner.
Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, news editors James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw and reporters Neville Thurlbeck and Dan Evans all pleaded guilty before trial. Former news editor Ian Edmondson was initially part of the hacking trial but was declared "medically unfit" to continue. He later pleaded guilty.
Edmondson and Coulson – the only two people to have been involved in the hacking trial and later found to be guilty – were last month ordered to pay prosecution costs of £75,000 and £150,000 respectively.
The CPS figures show that its staff costs from the hacking trial were £491,128, counsel fees were £1,195,261, electronic presentation fees were £96,915 and expert fees paid were £11,560.
It said that around £1.1m of the £1.8m total cost was attributable to the Operation Weeting (phone-hacking) part of the case.
Costs were also incurred on operations Elveden, into payments to public officials, and Sacha, an “investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice relating to Operation Weeting and Operation Elveden”.
Costs associated with the Operation Golding case against Johnson were made up of £4,986 staff costs and the £384 paid towards counsel fees. Johnson was ordered to pay £300 in prosecution costs.
The CPS costs incurred on the Wallis and Stenson cases – which came under Operation Pinetree – were made up of £87,337 staff costs and £17,515 in counsel fees paid to date. The CPS said: “Please note the main fee notes from Prosecution counsel in this case are still to be received and processed.” Stenson, on being given a suspended sentence, was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £18,059.61.