Skip to main content

Rebekah Brooks to start defense in phone hacking trial

By Bryony Jones, CNN
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
 Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey on February 19, 2014 in London, England.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey on February 19, 2014 in London, England.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dubbed the phone hacking trial, it has ensnared big names
  • Andy Coulson, a former Downing Street communications director, also faces trial
  • Brooks was the youngest person to edit a national British newspaper

(CNN) -- Rebekah Brooks, the former boss of News International, begins her defense Wednesday against allegations that she was part of a conspiracy to intercept the voicemails of high-profile figures in Britain.

Dubbed the phone hacking trial, it has ensnared big names, including Andy Coulson, a former Downing Street communications director.

Did Sienna Miller and '007' have a fling?
Details of royal messages revealed

Brooks faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice linked to claims she plotted to remove boxes of documents from News International offices, and hide computers and documents from police. She denies any wrongdoing.

She resigned as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International in July 2011 amid outrage over claims of widespread hacking by staff at its News of the World newspaper.

Once feted as a rising star in British media, she was the youngest person to edit a national British newspaper.

She held the top job at News International, News Corp.'s British subsidiary, for two years after editing the country's best-selling daily tabloid, The Sun, and its best-selling Sunday tabloid, News of the World.

But following sweeping allegations of illegal eavesdropping by News of the World journalists when she was editor, she has seen her fortunes fade, and was arrested and questioned several times by police investigating hacking, prior to being charged.

News International is News Corp.'s British newspaper arm . The fallout forced Murdoch to shut down the News of the World in 2011.

READ: CNN host Piers Morgan questioned in UK hacking investigation

READ: Report: Kate Middleton's phone hacked, court told

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0916 GMT (1716 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT