After seven months of testimony and legal arguments, jurors in the News Corp. (NWSA:US) phone-hacking trial started deliberations today.
“You are under no pressure of time,” Judge John Saunders said, sending the jury out to deliberate their verdicts after 130 court days since the trial began in late October. “You have to reach your verdicts according to the evidence.”
Rebekah Brooks, the 46-year-old former editor of the News of the World, is one of seven people on trial for phone hacking and bribing public officials by journalists at the company’s Sun and News of the World newspapers. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in 2011 in a bid to temper public outrage over the hacking of the phone of Milly Dowler.
Actors, politicians and members of the royal household have testified throughout the trial, which has scoured the private and professional lives of the seven defendants.
Brooks, who headed News Corp.’s U.K. unit, is charged with conspiracy to intercept voice mails, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Andy Coulson, 46, who edited the News of the World from 2003 to 2007, and is charged with two counts of conspiring to pay police officers in exchange for stories and conspiring to hack phones. Coulson resigned as communications director for U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011.
Clive Goodman, the 56-year-old former royal reporter at the News of the World, faces two counts of conspiring with Coulson to commit misconduct in a public office. Goodman was jailed in 2007, along with the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, after admitting to intercepting the voice mails of aides to the royal family.
The 74-year-old former managing editor of the News of the World, Stuart Kuttner, is charged with conspiring to hack phones.
Charlie Brooks, Rebekah Brooks’s 51-year-old husband, is accused of conspiring with a News Corp. security guard, Mark Hanna, to hide laptops and documents from police at the height of the phone-hacking scandal in July 2011.
Cheryl Carter, Brooks’s 50-year-old personal assistant, is charged with conspiring with her boss to hide notebooks in the days after the Dowler revelations.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org Eddie Buckle, Lindsay Fortado