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From The Guardian:

Two former police officers, an ex-prison officer and another public official have admitted selling information to the Sun – the first people to plead guilty in relation to the investigation into alleged illegal payments by journalists.

Alan Tierney, an ex-Surrey police constable, and former prison officer Richard Trunkfield, both pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office at the Old Bailey on Friday morning during plea and case management hearings.


Another police officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to an offence of misconduct in a public office, while a fourth person, a public official, who also cannot be named, pleaded guilty to an offence of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Tierney admitted to selling details about the arrest of Rolling Stones member Ron Wood for assaulting his Russian girlfriend, and separately, info about the arrest of a famous UK soccer star's mother on suspicion of shoplifting.

Also today, some of the major players in the scandal appeared before the Old Bailey court. From The Independent:

...Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s former director of communications, appeared in court to face charges over an alleged conspiracy to bribe public officials for information.

Coulson, 45, is accused with Clive Goodman, the News of the World former royal correspondent, of requesting and authorising payments to public officials in exchange for information about the Royal Family.


Rebekah Brooks, 44, from Churchill, Oxfordshire, News International’s former chief executive, also appeared at the Old Bailey to face separate charges.

Coulson, Goodman and Brooks all had their cases adjourned until next month. But a fourth principal, John Kay, The Sun's chief reporter, entered a not guilty plea to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Big day! Things are hotting up.

I am not a lawyer, but I would assume these first four guilty pleas to accepting bribes from News Corp. will make American FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) charges against Murdoch's empire a slam dunk.

Update 1:

Rupert angling to bring down PM Cameron? From the Daily Mail:

UKIP leader Nigel Farage enjoyed dinner with media boss Rupert Murdoch this week, in a fresh sign of the anti-EU’s emergence as a significant political force.


News that Mr Murdoch has hosted Mr Farage for dinner – thought to be the first of its kind – will be seen as a fresh blow for David Cameron’s Conservatives, who had previously relied on the support of the Murdoch empire.

The two men dined at Mr Murdoch’s London flat on Tuesday night. They discussed the possibility of a UKIP pact with the Tories, but only if Mr Cameron was ousted as leader. UKIP is growing increasingly confident of winning the elections to the European Parliament next year, and Mr Farage told Mr Murdoch he could win half of all the seats up for grabs, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Update 2:

From a Reuters article about the Murdoch/Farage dinner:

Peter Wilding, director of British Influence, a group campaigning for Britain to stay inside the EU, said Murdoch’s meeting had helped UKIP to enter the political mainstream. “It’s dangerous and it’s mischievous,” he said. “For Murdoch anti-Europeanism is a religion and his influence over the debate has been hugely powerful and hugely negative.”

In January, Murdoch dined with George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in similar circumstances.

Roy Greenslade, professor of journalism at London’s City University, said the Farage meeting showed that Murdoch’s evidence to an official inquiry into media ethics set up after a phone hacking scabdal was at odds with his own behaviour. “He’s playing politics, something he says he doesn’t do,” Greenslade said
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