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Executive editor of the Sun Fergus Shanahan charged with allegedly authorising payments to public officials

Executive editor of the Sun Fergus Shanahan has been charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office as part of the Operation Elveden investigation into payments from journalists to public officials.

Charges: It is alleged Shanahan authorised £7,000 of payments

Shanahan, a former deputy editor of the paper, is alleged to have authorised two payments totalling £7,000 for information from a public official between August 2006 and August 2007. He was arrested in January 2012 and has been on police bail since, but returned to his job at the Sun while investigations continued.

Alison Levitt QC, principal legal advisor to the director of public prosecutions, said: "Following a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that Fergus Shanahan, who served as an editor at the Sun newspaper, should be charged with an offence of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

"This announcement relates to a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service that was received by the CPS on 4 March 2013."

More than 100 people have been arrested by the Metropolitan police as a result of investigations into phone hacking and other illegal practices by journalists. In March, former News of The World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were informed they will stand trial for alleged payments to public officials later this year.

Shanahan's first court appearance before Westminster magistrates court has been scheduled for 8 May.

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