| LONDON, June 9
LONDON, June 9 The jury in the seven-month trial
of two ex-Rupert Murdoch editors, one the media mogul's head of
British newspapers and the other a close aide to the prime
minister, is expected to retire to consider its verdict this
Judge John Saunders is likely to finish his summing up of
the high-profile case on either Monday or Tuesday, leaving the
eight women and three men of the jury to decide the fates of
Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and five others.
The two were both editors of Murdoch's brash News of the
World Sunday tabloid which was shut three years ago as the
hacking scandal engulfed his company.
Three former senior news editors from the paper have pleaded
guilty to phone-hacking, and the jury at London's historic Old
Bailey court will have to decide whether Brooks and Coulson were
complicit in the activity.
The case has been one of the country's most high profile in
Saunders told the jury at the start of the process the
matter of British justice itself was on trial, due to the close
relationships that existed between the media elite and members
of government and the police.
Brooks and Coulson are on trial for conspiring to hack into
voicemails to generate exclusive news and for paying public
Brooks, once one of the most influential women in Britain,
faces a separate charge of conspiring to pervert the course of
justice with her husband and staff.
The issue of voicemail interception at the 168-year-old
Murdoch paper first broke into the public conscience in 2007
when its royal editor Clive Goodman and a private detective went
to jail for tapping into the messages of aides to the British
News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's
media empire, insisted the practice was limited to a single
But due to the severity of the matter, Coulson quit as
editor although he said he had not known about the crime at the
He went on to become the communications director for David
Cameron, first in opposition and then in Downing Street when
Cameron became prime minister. He was forced to stand down in
January 2011 as the scandal intensified.
Brooks, who edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003,
also edited its daily sister paper the Sun before she was
promoted to run News International in 2009. She too left the
company in 2011 and was arrested shortly afterwards.
Brooks' husband Charlie, a friend of the prime minister, her
personal assistant and head of security are also on trial for
trying to hinder the police investigation, while Stuart Kuttner,
the paper's ex-managing editor, is on trial for conspiring to
hack into phones.
Goodman, the former royal editor, is on trial for
authorising illegal payments to the police.
All seven defendants deny the charges. If found guilty
Brooks and Coulson are likely to face jail.
(Writing by Kate Holton; Editing by Sophie Hares)