Jury sent out in UK phone-hacking trial of ex-Murdoch editors

LONDON, June 11 Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:37am EDT

LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - A jury retired on Wednesday to consider whether two ex-Rupert Murdoch editors, one the media mogul's protege and the other a former close aide to the British prime minister, were guilty over phone-hacking offences and illegal payments to officials.

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, who later became Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, are accused of overseeing criminal behaviour by journalists while they edited Murdoch's News of the World Sunday tabloid.

Brooks, who went on to run the British newspaper arm of News Corp., is also accused of authorising thousands of pounds in illegal payments to a Ministry of Defence official while editing its sister daily the Sun, and of trying to hinder the police investigation.

They are on trial with five others including Brooks' husband Charlie at London's Old Bailey central criminal court. They all deny the charges. (Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)