Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks Found Not Guilty on All Counts, Andy Coulson Found Guilty on One

Rebekah Brooks Andy Coulson Split - H 2013
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Rebekah Brooks Andy Coulson Split - H 2013

UPDATED: The jury deliberated for a week to come up with first verdicts and will continue to discuss two more counts.

LONDON – The jury in the phone hacking trial here on Tuesday delivered verdicts on most counts, including all charges faced by former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and one against former NOTW editor Andy Coulson.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. shut down the tabloid in 2011 after the scandal erupted amid reports that staff at the paper had hacked into people's voicemail messages to get scoops.

The jury found Brooks not guilty on all four counts she faced and found Coulson guilty on one charge of conspiracy to hack phones. The jury has not yet returned a verdict on two additional charges against him and former royal editor Clive Goodman of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office by paying officials for royal phone directories.

Coulson also used to serve as communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

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Brooks was found not guilty of being part of a phone hacking conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to pay public officials — the judge had previously instructed the jury to find her not guilty of another such charge — and two counts of conspiracy to "pervert the course of justice."

The jury found Brooks' husband, Charlie, not guilty, former Brooks assistant Cheryl Carter not guilty and former News International security expert Mark Hanna not guilty. Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of the tabloid, was also found not guilty.

Kuttner was found not guilty of conspiring to hack voicemail messages, while Charlie Brooks, Hanna and Carter were cleared of charges of conspiring to "pervert the course of justice." They face no further charges.

The trial, which started in late October and ran for more than seven months, focused on charges of phone hacking, conspiring to "pervert the course of justice" and bribery against seven defendants. The jury ended up having 11 members after one juror was discharged earlier in the year.

Sentencing is set to take place at a later date.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai