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Six journalists face conspiracy charges in London court

July 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM
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LONDON, July 18 (UPI) -- Six journalists in Britain who are accused of paying public officials for information appeared in court Thursday to face the charges, court officials said.

Over the course of nine years, The Sun newspaper allegedly paid more than $39,300 to police officers, army personnel and hospital officials for information, The Guardian said.

Sun journalist Jamie Pyatt and the paper's pictures editor, John Edwards, allegedly paid for information relating to the health and activities of patients at the Broadmoor hospital, the details about the work of a royal family member and information on police investigations.

The pair was charged with one count of conspiracy.

The Sun's head of news, Chris Pharo, Sun journalist Nick Parker, former News of the World crime editor Lucy Panton and Daily Star Sunday editor Tom Savage are also facing conspiracy charges for similar crimes.

Public officials who allegedly sold stories to the journalists, including Robert Neave, a former healthcare assistant at Broadmoor Hospital, and prison officials Scott Champan and Lee Brockhouse, also appeared in court to face charges of conspiracy.

Chapman is accused of selling stories about a high-profile prisoner, The Guardian said.

All have been released on bail and a pre-trial hearing is set for Aug. 6.

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