Neil Wallis Facing Phone-Hacking Charge

Chiswick journalist says he is devastated

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The Chiswick-based former News of the World deputy-editor Neil Wallis, is set to be charged with conspiring to hack phones.

Mr. Wallis was told more than a year ago that he would face no further action.

He took to Twitter to say that he was "devastated" that more than three years after his initial arrest, the charge had been brought against him and said he and his family had already paid a huge price for the police's very public attention.

Describing it as "a sad day" he said he was prevented from making comments for legal reasons. He added that he had been inundated with messages of support and good wishes.

Mr. Wallis is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 21 August along with Jules Stenson, a former News of the World features editor, where it is expected they will be sent for trial to the Old Bailey.

The charges arise from the police inquiry Operation Pinetree which is investigating the Features department of the News of the World.

A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Jules Stenson, former features editor of the News of the World and to summons Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of the World, with an offence of conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, commonly known as 'phone-hacking'.

"These decisions were taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media.

"We have decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest."

Six other journalists who were also held as part of the inquiry have already been told they will face no further action.

Wallis was first arrested under the main phone-hacking inquiry, Operation Weeting, in July 2011, and was left on bail for nearly two years until February 2013, when he was told he would face no further action due to a lack of evidence.


July 30, 2014