Former Murdoch exec Rebekah Brooks denies hacking charges

FORMER News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks has denied charges related to phone hacking, illegal payments to public officials, and perverting the course of justice.

Brooks, a close friend of David Cameron and the former head of News International, the newspaper division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, denied the accusations at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, where she appeared alongside her husband Charlie and a number of other defendants.

The allegations against Brooks related to an 11-year span between October 2000 – when she edited the now-defunct newspaper – and 2011, when she was arrested in relation to phone hacking. Brooks edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when she moved to The Sun and was replaced by Andy Coulson, who subsequently became Cameron’s head of communications before resigning in the wake of the hacking scandal. The News of the World was shut down in 2011 after it was revealed that journalists at the paper had listened to the voicemails of Milly Dowler, a murdered schoolgirl.

Other defendants include James Weatherup and Stuart Kuttner, news editor and managing editor of the paper. All the charges were denied.

The defendants were released on bail and face trial later in the year.