Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is to be charged with perverting the course of justice during the phone-hacking scandal.

Mrs Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie revealed the charges in a statement in which they criticised the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

They said: "We have been informed by the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions that we are to be charged with perverting the course of justice.

"We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station."

Four other people are also to be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in connection with the inquiry, including Mrs Brooks's personal assistant Cheryl Carter and Mark Hanna, head of security at News International.

The charges include conspiring to conceal material from Scotland Yard detectives, conspiring to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International and conspiring to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from detectives.

Alison Levitt QC, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, revealed the details of the charges in a statement read out at CPS headquarters in London. Mrs Brooks faces three conspiracy charges. The others all face one charge each.

Miss Levitt said: "The Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service on March 27 2012 in relation to seven suspects: Rebekah Brooks; Charles Brooks; Cheryl Carter, Mrs Brooks' personal assistant; Mark Hanna, head of security at News International; Paul Edwards, Mrs Brooks's chauffeur who was employed by News International; Daryl Jorsling and a seventh suspect - both of whom provided security for Mrs Brooks supplied by News International.

"All the evidence has now carefully been considered. Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except the seventh, there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction."

Mrs Brooks's former PA Ms Carter is going through the "most unhappy period of her life" and "she vigorously denies" the charge that she removed boxes of material from News International, her lawyer Henri Brandman said.