Sun reporter charged in UK bribery investigation

British tabloid The Sun has published a photo of a winking topless model, shooting down reports it had ended the controversial tradition that has featured in the newspaper since 1970 (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)

London (AFP) - The crime reporter for Rupert Murdoch's top-selling British tabloid The Sun has been charged with allegedly paying public officials for information, police said on Tuesday.

Journalist Anthony France, 41, faces two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between March 2008 and July 2011, and July 2009 and August 2009 respectively.

The first charge alleges that France conspired with police officer Timothy Edwards, who has already been charged, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

France will appear at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on August 21, the CPS said.

Several journalists from The Sun have already been charged as part of the police investigation into alleged bribery of public officials, dubbed Operation Elveden.

Police launched the probe after receiving documents from Murdoch's News International as part of the investigation into phone-hacking at The Sun's sister newspaper, the News of the World.

Murdoch shut the tabloid in 2011 after it emerged it had illegally accessed the mobile phone voicemails of hundreds of high-profile figures, including a missing teenager who was later found murdered.