Rebekah Brooks trial: editors 'must have known of hacking'

Rebekah Brooks

It is a simple question, claims the prosecution: there was hacking, but who knew about it?

LAST UPDATED AT 09:10 ON Thu 31 Oct 2013

FORMER News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson must have known about phone hacking at the newspaper, the Old Bailey has heard.

The prosecution yesterday opened its case against Brooks, who became chief executive of News International, and Andy Coulson, who was later David Cameron's communications chief, and six others.

The Old Bailey heard that three former News of the World journalists - Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup - had previously pleaded guilty to phone hacking, as well as a private investigator contracted by the newspaper, Glenn Mulcaire. None of them are currently standing trial.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told the jury it was "quite a simple issue": there was phone hacking, he said - the question is "who knew?"

Edis said Mulcaire's seized notebooks showed who at the News of the World had "tasked" him with each hacking and included references to the singer Will Young and Louise Woodward, the British nanny who was tried for the murder of a child in the United States.

However, Edis said that while the newspaper paid Mulcaire around £100,000 a year "no-one seems to have written down what he was producing".

Brooks is accused of perverting the course of justice by clearing out old notebooks when the News of the World folded in 2011 and also of approving "quite large" payments to public officials as editor of The Sun. Edis claims that the notebooks would have revealed the way Brooks "operated" had they not disappeared, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Closing his submissions for the day, the prosecutor told the jurors: "What you must consider is whether these people were doing their jobs properly, in which case they must have known where some of these stories were coming from."

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Saunders, the judge in the case, warned the jury to only consider the evidence presented in court. He specifically told the jury to ignore the latest issue of Private Eye, which features a picture of Brooks above the caption "Horror witch costume withdrawn from shops".

All the defendants deny the charges against them. · 

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Brooks dishonest but she is a friend of the Cameron's she can't be dishonest verdict rap on the knuckles & told not to be a naughty girl again her subordinates 10 yrs inside

So the question to be answered is, "What didn't ...insert name... know and when didn't they/he/she/it know it?"

For the cover-up to be effective Lady Brooks must escape without penalty.

I agree with Amphibious below. An editor can escape if he or she can demonstrate that a colleague would not disclose his sources. That is commonly understood. That is all she needs to convey. If she didn't know at that time, then no result..

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