A press officer for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall is alleged to have received more than £17,400 from The Sun newspaper through his partner Marta Bukarewicz – for sensitive information obtained through his employment with HMRC.
It is thought that the payments were made between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011.
Gregor McGill, senior lawyer with the CPS, whose team handles CPS decision making and potential prosecutions in relation to the on-going phone hacking investigations, said: “This statement is made …to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.
“We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence that Clodagh Hartley, a journalist at the Sun newspaper, Jonathan Hall, employed as a Press Officer at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Marta Bukarewicz, partner of Mr Hall and not a public official, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.”
The CPS has authorised the institution of proceedings and all three individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 May 2013.
McGill added that the information provided included details about government plans, including upcoming but as yet unannounced spending and policy decisions relating to the 2010 Budget and the coalition government’s deficit reduction plans.
He explained: “Information also related specifically to policy and decision-making within HMRC, including that relating to job losses and casework.
“All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP’s guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media.”