Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks' Defense Wraps Up Arguments

1:55 PM PST 03/13/2014 by Georg Szalai
Max Nash/AFP/Getty Images
Rebekah Brooks

The former "News of the World" editor and former CEO of News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit spent 13 days on the witness stand.

LONDON -- The defense of former News of the World editor and News International CEO Rebekah Brooks on Thursday wrapped up its arguments in the phone hacking trial here.

The Guardian reported that the trial day saw appearances by Brooks' mother and from a former News of the World journalist who was flown in from New York to serve as a defense witness for the former top lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch. On Wednesday, Brooks had finished her 13 days on the witness stand.

Brooks was the first of seven defendants to go into the witness box.

Her defense ended Thursday mid-day with three witness statements read in court that praised Brooks. One was from the wife of Jeremy Clarkson, the host of BBC hit show Top Gear, the Guardian reported.

She described Brooks as "incredibly kind and considerate" and a woman who "insists on putting others' needs in front of her own," according to the report.

Brooks ensured The Sun's support of the Help for Heroes soldiers charity, of which Clarkson is a patron. He said it would never have raised the money it did for soldiers were it not for Brooks.

Meanwhile, Brooks' mother told the jury Thursday that her daughter didn't bring boxes of notebooks to her home the weekend the News of the World was shuttered. The prosecution has argued that Brooks and her former assistant made the notebooks, which the prosecution says contained material that police weren't supposed to find, disappear.

Brooks' mother said her daughter didn't bring any boxes. The Guardian quoted her as saying: "She either brought me jam or marmalade. She might have brought biscuits."

On Wednesday, the prosecution had wrapped up its cross-examination of Brooks. The Guardian quoted prosecutor Andrew Edis as arguing that as the editor, she had to know about misconduct at the paper.

Referencing comments that she knew nothing, he said, "I'm going to suggest to you that that is quite untrue," the Guardian reported. "You were running your world, and not much happened in it which you did not want to happen when you were top of the tree. You were the boss."

According to the paper, Edis also told Brooks: "Your evidence has been a carefully presented and prepared script and bears little relationship to the truth about these offenses." The Guardian quoted Brooks as responding: "It hasn't."

After Brooks' defense rested Thursday, Clive Goodman, the former royal editor of News of the World, told the court that Princess Diana herself supplied him with an internal royal phone directory, the Guardian said.

It quoted Goodman as saying that she had sent him the directory to show him the "scale of her husband's staff at his household" and the "scale of the forces ranged against her."

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