Phone hacking trial reveals shenanigans

2013-11-25 16:52
 Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. (File, AFP)

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Rebekah Brooks, then boss of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group, arranged to meet Andy Coulson just days before he resigned as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief over alleged phone-hacking at the paper both had once edited, a court heard on Monday.

Brooks and Coulson are standing trial along with six other defendants who face a variety of charges relating to phone-hacking at the News of the World, illegal payments to officials for stories, and impeding police inquiries.

All eight have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The jury at the Old Bailey were shown evidence that Brooks, then chief executive of News International, had arranged to meet Coulson "somewhere discreet" on 14 January 2011.

The timing is sensitive because that month, Coulson was under intense pressure to resign from his post as director of communications at Number 10 Downing Street over allegations of phone-hacking at the paper under his editorship years earlier.

Coulson did eventually resign on 21 January, and the police began a wide-ranging investigation into the alleged hacking, known as "Operation Weeting".

The phone-hacking scandal escalated later in 2011, causing Murdoch to shut down the News of the World and Cameron to order a public inquiry into the practices, culture and ethics of the press at which Brooks and Murdoch gave evidence.

The inquiry revealed close links between senior figures in the Murdoch press and powerful politicians including Cameron, hence the sensitivity of the meeting between his media chief and the head of News International at a time of mounting scandal.

The jury were shown an email sent from Brooks to two personal assistants including Cheryl Carter, also a defendant in the trial and copied to Coulson's yahoo email address, instructing Carter to arrange a meeting with Coulson.

Six year affair

"I need to see Andy Coulson at Victoria, somewhere discreet like a hotel," the email read.

Carter responded by suggesting the Halkin Hotel, and Coulson then wrote back: "Fine with me. Can we make it 7:45 though please?"

The jury were also shown an entry from Brooks' diary showing a meeting with Coulson at the Halkin Hotel on 14 January, as well as a message from Carter to Brooks on 31 January that read: "phone call: please call Andy Coulson".

The jury heard earlier in the trial that Brooks and Coulson had had a six-year affair several years previously. There was no suggestion that the hotel meeting was in any way related to that.


Read more on:    rebekah brooks  |  andy coulson  |  uk hacking scandal

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.