[QODLink]
Europe
Brooks appears in court on hacking charges
Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks faces court in London over charges relating to phone hacking.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2012 15:15
Former Rupert Murdoch protege Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged with phone hacking [AP]

The former Chief Executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, has appeared before a London court to face charges relating to phone hacking.

"She faces three charges of phone hacking," Al Jazeera's Tim Friend, reporting from London, said on Monday.

The 44-year-old Brooks, who oversaw media mogul Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group, has been charged with illegally intercepting voicemail messages.

"This case goes to the start of the British establishment, and raises questions about the [British prime minister David Cameron's] judgement," the Al Jazeera correspondent said, noting the prime minister's close ties with two of the accused, including Brooks.

During her brief appearance on Monday, Brooks was given the conditions of her release on bail regarding travel and who she can contact. Brooks is due to reappear in court later this month.

Brooks, a former editor of now-defunct News of the World newspaper, is close to Murdoch and was friends with successive British prime ministers. She resigned as chief executive of News International in July 2011 over revelations of phone-hacking by reporters at one of her papers.

The phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World Sunday tabloid, which Murdoch abruptly shut down last July to try and limit the damage, set off a chain of events that have dominated the British news agenda for a year and are still playing out.

More than 50 journalists and public officials have been arrested on suspicion of hacking or corrupt relationships, and a public inquiry has exposed ties too close for comfort between Murdoch's inner circle and the men at the top of government.

As editor of the News of the World, where the trouble began, and later of the Sun, Britain's most read newspaper, Brooks once wielded enormous influence as she sent her reporters after the secrets of the rich and the powerful.

But since the phone-hacking scandal exploded in July 2011 she has turned from hunter to prey, her every appearance in public drawing crowds of paparazzi and her every word dissected by a gleeful press.

The scandal has not only rocked News Corporation, it has put the notoriously aggressive British press under the spotlight and embarrassed senior politicians, including Cameron, over their often cosy ties with the Australian-born businessman.

374

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list