Rebekah Brooks Briefly Appears in Court, Hearing Set for June 22

News Corp. Phone Hacking Charges and Settlements

In 2011, one of the biggest international media industry stories was the phone hacking scandal at the News International U.K. newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The past year brought settlements with such celebrities as Hugh Grant and singer/actress Charlotte Church. But it also brought formal charges against former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson and others on charges of hacking. Brooks and others are also accused of conspiring to "pervert the course of justice." Trials are expected to start in the fall of 2013. More fallout will come in the new year from the Leveson Inquiry report that proposed stricter regulation of the British press, which is currently being hotly debated.

The former News Corp. executive and longtime Rupert Murdoch ally and five others face charges of conspiring to "pervert the course of justice" in the case related to the phone hacking scandal.

LONDON - The trial of Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News Corp.'s News International U.K. newspaper unit, and five others on charges of a conspiracy to "pervert the course of justice" will formally start with their appearance in front of a judge for a hearing on June 22, a court said here Wednesday.

A district court judge told the accused in what was Brooks' first court appearance in court  that the trial of the longtime ally of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, which is related to the phone hacking scandal, was going to be held at the Southwark Crown Court where they would have to show up next Friday. It wasn't immediately clear if that day would see only a brief hearing or a full trial.

Wednesday's proceedings took less than 10 minutes, and Brooks and the others weren't questioned. They only were asked to confirm their names, addresses and birth dates. All the accused are now free on bail until June 22, the BBC reported. Brooks is not allowed to correspond with the others charged except for her husband.

Coverage of Wednesday's hearing showed a large media presence outside the court house.

Brooks, 44, was charged last month with three counts of conspiracy to remove documents, computers and other potential evidence from police investigating phone hacking charges.

She has denied the charges and called them an "expensive sideshow."

Husband Charlie Brooks is charged with one count of conspiracy. The others facing trial are Brooks' former personal assistant, her former chauffeur and two security officials.


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