A high-ranking police counter-terrorist officer appeared in Westminster magistrates court in central London on October 1 charged with abuse of the public’s trust.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn works in Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police Service and is accused of offering information to the News of the World newspaper in 2010.
The Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) said in a statement on September 24 that sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction had been obtained. The statement said that it was therefore in the public interest to charge DCI Casburn with misconduct in public office.
On September 11, 2010, while having ongoing access to information from Operation Weeting—the investigation into phone hacking in newspapers—Casburn is said to have contacted the News of the World and offered to provide information.
This was “without reasonable excuse or justification”, according to the DPP statement. She is accused of having “wilfully misconducted herself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in that office”.
Operation Weeting originally used anti-terror police as some hacking concerned the phones of the royal family.
In court, Casburn only answered to her name, address, and date of birth, as the charge is too serious to try in a magistrates court. She will appear to give a plea at the Old Bailey on November 2.
The charges came from information given to the DPP by officers on Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged payments by journalists to police and other public servants.
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