LONDON — Britain's phone-hacking scandal took a dramatic turn Tuesday with the filing of criminal charges against eight people, including a onetime confidant of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and a former senior aide to Prime Minister David Cameron.

LONDON — Britain's phone-hacking scandal took a dramatic turn Tuesday with the filing of criminal charges against eight people, including a onetime confidant of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and a former senior aide to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Prosecutors announced that Rebekah Brooks, who ran Murdoch's British newspapers, and Andy Coulson, who served as Cameron's communications adviser, were among those charged with illegally tapping into the cellphones of celebrities, politicians and other public figures while working at the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid.

"Prosecution is required in the public interest," prosecutor Alison Levitt said, adding that enough evidence existed "for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction."

Brooks maintained her innocence Tuesday, despite having been editor of the News of the World in 2002, at the time that the scandal sheet tapped into the teen's phone.

"I did not authorize, nor was I aware of, phone-hacking under my editorship," Brooks said in a statement, describing herself as both "distressed and angry."

Coulson also said Tuesday that he would fight the charges against him.