First News International hacking trial begins: Brooks, Coulson, Kuttner and Edmondson are among the accused - Press Gazette

First News International hacking trial begins: Brooks, Coulson, Kuttner and Edmondson are among the accused

Former News International (now News UK) chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-government spin doctor Andy Coulson will appear at the Old Bailey today to face trial over charges linked to phone-hacking and alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

There will be 17 press places in Court 12 of the Old Bailey, London's main criminal court, with a further 53 journalists from around the world following proceedings in an annexe. All the press places have been allocated. 

Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Coulson, 45, from Preston in Kent, are both accused of conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission.

They are accused of conspiring with former News of the World (NOTW) head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south-west London; the tabloid's ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, and others to illegally access voicemails between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006.

Ex-NoW and Sun editor Brooks is also charged with two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office, one between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012 and the other between 9 February 2006 and 16 October 2008, linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.

She faces another two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – one with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 49, from Chelmsford in Essex, between 6 and  2011.

It is alleged that they conspired to remove seven boxes of material from the News International archive.

The second count alleges that Brooks, her husband Charles Brooks and former head of security at News International Mark Hanna conspired together and with others between 15 and 19 July 2011 to pervert the course of justice.

It is claimed that they tried to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from police officers who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers.

Former Number 10 spin doctor and ex-NoW editor Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with the tabloid's former royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office – one between 31 August 2002 and 31January 2003; and the other between 31 January and 3 June 2005.

It is expected that jury selection will take place today and that the prosecution will open later in the week.

The trial is expected to take more than five months.



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