3:14 pm - Monday December 11, 2017

Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks on trial

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Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks on trial
Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks on trial

BEIJING – In London, the trial is under way of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and others linked with alleged phone-hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World. The trial is expected to be one of the longest in Britain’s recent criminal history.

Brooks and seven other defendants, including her racehorse trainer husband, Charlie, and Prime Minister David Cameron’s former director of communications, Andy Coulson, have all pleaded not guilty.

Arriving at the Old Bailey, this is the first chance Rebekah Brooks has had to counter the allegations against her since she was arrested. As well as charges related to phone hacking, she’s accused of making inappropriate payments to police officers.

Andy Coulson another former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s now closed, News of the World newspaper is also facing charges related to phone hacking.

The huge global interest in this case is most felt in the heartlands of the Murdoch Empire: Britain; the US and Australia.

The scandal broke two years ago when it was revealed Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper was accessing voicemail messages on the phones of politicians, celebrities and members of the general public.

In the subsequent investigation, more than 125 people have been arrested and 40 charged. The scandal highlighted what were seen as dubious links between politicians and newspapers. And Rupert Murdoch was summoned to give evidence in the UK Parliament.

The trial was originally estimated to last four months but with at least 100 witnesses to be called, some of the 25 barristers and their 25 solicitors have said they will need extra time.

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