News24

Ex-Murdoch aide in court

2012-06-22 18:55

London - Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers, will enter a plea in September on charges of covering up the News of the World phone hacking scandal, a judge said on Friday.

Brooks, 44, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London with her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, 49, and four other people accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The former News International chief executive wore a black dress and high heels and sat in the dock beside her husband, who wore a blue suit and pink tie. They spoke only to confirm their names.

Judge Adrian Fulford released all six on bail until a plea and case management hearing at the same court on 26 September.

Rebekah Brooks faces three charges of removing boxes of material from the archive of News International, and trying to conceal documents, computers and other material from police during the frantic last days of the News of the World in July 2011.

Charlie Brooks, his wife's personal assistant Cheryl Carter, her chauffeur Paul Edwards, NI head of security Mark Hanna, and Daryl Jorsling, who provided security for Brooks that was supplied by NI, also face one charge each.

The charges carry a maximum term of life imprisonment.

All six made their first appearance in court on 13 June, having been charged on 15 May.

Rebekah Brooks edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003 before taking up the same post at The Sun, Murdoch's top-selling British daily tabloid.

At one time she moved in the highest circles of British politics, and testified to Britain's Leveson inquiry into press ethics last month about her close friendship with Prime Minister David Cameron.

She resigned as chief executive of News International just days after the News of the World closed in disgrace in July 2011.

She remains on police bail after being arrested in relation to separate charges of phone hacking and bribing public officials.