The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

UK phone hacking trial: Rebekah Brooks takes stand as she is acquitted on 1 of 5 charges

  • Print

LONDON - Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was acquitted Thursday of one charge at Britain's phone hacking trial as she began her defence against four more.

Her lawyer told jurors that Brooks was "not on trial for having worked for Rupert Murdoch's company."

Judge John Saunders ruled that there was "no case for Mrs. Brooks to answer" to a charge that she illegally paid an official for a picture of Prince William in a bikini.

Saunders said "considerable uncertainty" had arisen about the source of the photo, which was published in Murdoch's daily tabloid, The Sun, when Brooks was editor.

Brooks, 45, still faces one similar charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, as well as charges of conspiring to hack phones and obstruct police.

Brooks, the former chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper unit, testified at London's Central Criminal Court as the defence opened its case, almost four months into the trial.

She answered questions in a quiet and occasionally hesitant voice as her lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw, described her rapid rise in the rough-and-tumble world of tabloid journalism. Hired as a researcher at the millions-selling News of the World in 1989, she became the Sunday paper's deputy editor six years later, when she was 27.

In pursuit of scoops, she recalled spending up to 250,000 pounds — a figure she later corrected to $250,000 — in 1995 to get an interview with Divine Brown, the prostitute arrested with actor Hugh Grant.

"It all seems so silly now," Brooks said.

Brooks and six others are on trial on charges stemming from the revelation that News of the World eavesdropped on voicemails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims in what prosecutors have called a "frenzy" to get scoops.

All seven defendants deny the charges against them.

The hacking scandal led Murdoch to shut the 168-year-old News of the World, sparked wide-ranging police investigations and exposed a web of ties binding police and politicians to Murdoch's media empire.

Brooks, once one of Britain's most powerful media figures, remembered advice Murdoch gave her early in her career: "Work hard ... and don't court any publicity."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two Canadian geese perch themselves for a perfect view looking at the surroundings from the top of a railway bridge near Lombard Ave and Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg- Standup photo- May 01, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the province’s crackdown on flavoured tobacco products?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google