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UK hacking: Brooks cleared, Coulson guilty

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 02:15

Rebekah Brooks, former boss of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm, has been found not guilty of being part of an illegal conspiracy to hack into phones and make illegal payments. But her successor as editor at News of the World, Andy Coulson, who went on to be British Prime Minister Cameron's media chief, was found guilty of phone hacking. Joel Flynn reports

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Walking free from court after an eight-month trial. Rebekah Brooks, former boss of News Corp's British newspaper arm, was cleared by a jury of conspiracy to hack voicemails on mobile phones. She was also found not guilty of making illegal payments to officials, or perverting the course of justice. Brooks' husband Charlie, her secretary Cheryl Carter and her head of security were also found not guilty. But Andy Coulson is facing jail. He was Brooks' successor as editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, and went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief. The hacking trial rocked Britain's political establishment as well as Murdoch's media empire. Public interest in the case was fuelled by the revelation that Brooks and Coulson - so used to exposing celebrities' love lives in the papers - had an on-off affair themselves, during a nine-year period. High profile hacking victims included royals William and Harry - and Hollywood stars like Jude Law appeared during the trial. The jury took over a week to consider their verdicts, and are still are still considering further charges against Coulson. Cameron has apologised for employing Coulson. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, British Prime Minister, saying (English): "I asked him questions about if he knew about phone hacking and he said that he didn't and I accepted those assurances and I gave him the job. I would say that no one has made any complaints about the work that he did for me, either as leader of the opposition or indeed here in No. 10 Downing Street. But knowing what I now know, and knowing those assurances weren't right, it was obviously wrong to employ him. I gave someone a second chance and it turned out to be a bad decision." Cameron's political opponents have once again questioned his judgment in employing Coulson. As has Joan Smith, CEO of the anti-hacking pressure group, Hacked Off. SOUNDBITE: JOAN SMITH, "HACKED OFF" CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING (English): "He got plenty of warnings that Andy Coulson had emerged from the News of the World under a cloud and I think Cameron's great mistake was taking him into Downing Street." Murdoch closed down the News of the World in the wake of the scandal. The paper's former managing editor was also found not guilty on phone hacking charges. It's too late to revive the paper. But having been cleared of all charges, some in the UK media don't think this will the last we see of Rebekah Brooks.

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UK hacking: Brooks cleared, Coulson guilty

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 02:15