Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson charged

Rebekah Brooks

PM's friend and his former spin doctor are charged with alleged hacking of Millie Dowler’s voicemail

LAST UPDATED AT 12:00 ON Tue 24 Jul 2012

EIGHT FORMER News of the World employees, including ex News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and the Prime Minister’s former communications boss Andy Coulson, have been charged over alleged phone hacking.

Brooks - a close friend of David Cameron - and Coulson are charged with allegedly accessing the voicemail messages of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler. This is the allegation that led to the closure of the News of the World in July last year.

Former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former assistant editor James Weatherup were charged in relation to the alleged hacking of voicemail belonging to “persons associated with” Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

Weatherup and former assistant editor Ian Edmondson were charged with allegedly intercepting voicemail belonging to Wayne Rooney.

Also charged are former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Seven of the eight are also charged with allegedly conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006, according to the Crown Prosecution Service. The full list of charges can be seen here.

Glenn Mulcaire is not included in this charge for legal reasons, CPS legal adviser Alison Levitt QC. However, Mulcaire is named in relation to four other charges, including the alleged hacking of TV chef Delia Smith's phone.

The prosecution will allege that more than 600 people were victims of hacking, according to the BBC.

Brooks said in a statement: “I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship…

“The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue, but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime.” · 

Disqus - noscript

I really think that the UK establishment is going mad! All of this fuss and bother about phone hacking including the enormous expense of the enquiries, where if true the only effect is that a few peoples feeling have been hurt. Now I don't wish to belittle this issue but this has to be trivial when compared with the enormous damage inflicted by Blair, firstly by the utterly irresponsible public spending that he authorised that has left us in our present catastrophic financial condition and secondly by his committing the UK to a war in Iraq who at that time constituted no national threat to us whatever. This egocentric adventure was in complete contrast with the national will and resulted in huge national cost and the deaths and suffering of innumerable innocent citizens, both Iraqi and our own. I have to wonder, whatever stupidity attributed more significance to the former than it does to the latter? However does it happen that Blair is not in the dock for his evident crimes against humanity and greater significance has been given to phone hacking? Is it because the US wouldn’t like it if he were?

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.