Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks have appeared in court to face charges linked to alleged corrupt payments to public officials.
David Cameron's former spin doctor and the ex-News International chief executive were among five people to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
The charges have been brought under Operation Elveden, which deals specifically with the allegation of making and authorising corrupt payments to officials.
Brooks, 44, appeared first with John Kay, 69, The Sun's former chief reporter, and Ministry Of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber, 39.
All three spoke only to confirm their identities and addresses after hearing the charges against them at the short hearing.
They face one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between January 1 2004 and January 31 this year.
It is alleged that Brooks, from Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Kay, from northwest London, conspired to pay Jordan-Barber around £100,000 for information.
They were all released on unconditional bail until they next appear at Southwark Crown Court on December 6.
Coulson, the former News Of The World editor, his former royal correspondent Clive Goodman appeared next.
Coulson, 44, from Kent, and Goodman, 55, from Surrey, face two counts of the same offence.
They relate to the alleged request and authorisation of payments to public officials in exchange for information, including the royal contacts book.
Coulson and Goodman were both released on unconditional bail until the same date as the other three defendants.