Senior detective on secrets charge

A senior counter-terrorism detective has been charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, it can be reported for the first time.

DCI April Casburn, 53, is accused of offering the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World (NOTW) information about Operation Varec, the investigation into whether the Met inquiry into phone hacking should be re-opened.

It is also alleged that she had secret documents at her home without permission to keep them there.

Detective Chief Inspector Casburn is charged with misconduct in a public office in September 2010 and breaching the Official Secrets Act.

She appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court for a short hearing earlier and spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and address.

A ban on publishing details of the Official Secrets Act charge was lifted by District Judge Quentin Purdy after representations were made by a number of media organisations.

Casburn, from Hatfield Peverel, Essex, was released on unconditional bail until November 2, when she will appear at the Old Bailey for a plea and case management hearing.