News Corp execs pressured ex-reporter to take phone-hacking rap-court

LONDON, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:27am EDT

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - The former royal editor at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World title told a London court on Wednesday senior figures at News Corp.'s British newspaper arm put pressure on him to take the flak for phone-hacking to protect others.

Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for illegally accessing the voicemails of mobile phones belonging to senior aides to Britain's royal family, said News International bosses had said after his arrest executives wanted him to be the "lone wolf".

After the practice was revealed in 2007, News International stated publicly and in parliament that phone-hacking was limited to Goodman, who was described as a rogue reporter, and a private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for the paper.

However, police investigations were re-opened in 2011 and two former News of the World editors - Rebekah Brooks, who had become News International's chief executive, and Andy Coulson - are now on trial accused of conspiracy to hack phones. They both deny all wrongdoing.

Five others, including Goodman, are also in the dock for a variety of offences and the trial continues.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton)