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UK phone hacking trial begins

Monday, October 28, 2013 - 02:12

Oct 28 - The trial of former News International executive Rebekah Brooks and former News of the World editor and Cameron spin doctor Andy Coulson has begun in London following a police investigation into activity surrounding the now-defunct News of the World newspaper. Joanna Partridge reports

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The press pack ready to report on the trial of some of their own. Two former editors of the News of the World, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, arrived at London's Central Criminal Court for the start of one of Britain's most high-profile criminal cases in years. They're accused of conspiring to illegally access voicemail messages on the mobile phones of politicians, celebrities and crime victims - to get newspaper exclusives. They deny all the charges. The phone hacking scandal sent shockwaves through Britain's political establishment and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire. It led him to close the tabloid News of the World. He later justified his actions before a parliamentary committee. SOUNDBITE: RUPERT MURDOCH, MEDIA TYCOON, SAYING (English): "...I would just like to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life." The phone hacking scandal also revealed the close ties between UK press barons, politicians and police chiefs. It prompted a year-long public inquiry into newspaper ethics. The industry is still battling with the government over how it should be regulated. Since detectives launched an investigation at the start of 2011, over 125 people have been arrested and more than 40 charged. Brooks and Coulson are the most prominent. She was the first female editor of Murdoch's top-selling Sun newspaper and a close friend of the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Coulson left the News of the World in 2007. He later became Cameron's communications chief, but quit in 2011, leaving the Prime Minister facing difficult questions. SOUNDBITE: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON SAYING (English): " I decided to give him a second chance and no-one has ever raised serious concerns about how he did his job for me. But the second chance didn't work out and he had to resign all over again. The decision to hire him was mine and mine alone and I take full responsibility for it." Brooks and Coulson are both charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Brooks is also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Six others are also on trial, accused of some of the charges, including Brooks' husband. The jury was sworn in on Monday for the trial, which is expected to last 6 months.

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UK phone hacking trial begins

Monday, October 28, 2013 - 02:12