Phone Hacking Trial: Judge to Start Summing up Case

11:07 AM PST 06/03/2014 by Georg Szalai
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Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are also among the defendants in the hacking trial

The lawyer for Mark Hanna, former head of security of News International, on Tuesday argued that his client was part of less "glamorous" circles than his then-boss Rekebah Brooks.

LONDON – The judge in the phone hacking trial here is scheduled to start summing up the case on Wednesday before the jury begins deliberating.

In a final closing speech, the lawyer for former News International security chief Mark Hanna on Tuesday afternoon described his client as "middle management" and a "hired hand" who was further down the corporate ladder. "He wasn't a director of any company," he explained, calling his former title "just a fancy name."

The lawyer added that unlike his then-boss Rekebah Brooks, Hanna did not move around "more glamorous" circles. For example, "the only time he has seen Tony Blair is on the telly," he said.

However, Hanna reminded the jury: "He is entitled to just as much justice and care from you as those at the more glamorous end of the indictment." 

He added that the jurors would have to find Brooks' husband, Charlie, who is also a defendant in the case, guilty before considering Hanna's guilt. He is charged with a conspiracy to get rid of evidence. As such, his guilt would depend on Charlie Brooks' hiring of Hanna and others involved in Rebekah Brooks' security on the weekend of her arrest in July 2011.

The lawyer added that Charlie Brooks would have also had to tell Hanna about plans to hide or destroy evidence and get Hanna's agreement to help him. 

Hanna's lawyer suggested that there was no evidence that this had happened and pointed to a timeline of events in arguing that Hanna wasn't part of a conspiracy.

The lawyer highlighted that based on the timeline, Brooks would have sat at home for three days without doing anything ahead of a pre-arranged interview of his wife at a London police station. Hanna's lawyer drew laughs as he described that race horse trainer Charlie Brooks was reading a copy of the Racing Post while drinking a gin and tonic three days in a row - before being hit by panic on the fourth day and asking Hanna to help him pervert the course of justice. 

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai


 
 
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