Rebekah Brooks charged in U.K. phone hacking
2012-05-16 0:00


Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, her husband and four others were charged Tuesday over alleged attempts to conceal evidence of Britainís tabloid phone hacking scandal, prosecutors said.

The criminal charges are the first to be filed since police launched a new inquiry into phone hacking in January 2011. Previously, two people were jailed in 2007 for hacking the phones of members of the royal household.

Brooks, 43, who quit as News International chief executive in July, faces three separate allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice ó an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie will face charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, U.K. prosecutors say. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)


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Rebekah Brooks is not for humbling
By Jonathan Holmes |

Thereís no denying the womanís power to fascinate.

In a mere 11 years, Rebekah Brooks, nee Wade, climbed from secretary to editor of The News of the World; she reached that pinnacle at the age of 31. She not only survived but dominated the tough, testosterone-fuelled culture of the British tabloids, first at the News of the World and then, for six years, at The Sun; she put the fear of God into hundreds of journalists working under her, while charming the all-but-uncharmable Rupert Murdoch. And his son James. And his wife Wendi. And three prime ministers. And, even more remarkably, two of their wives: Cherie Blair and Sarah Brown were both Rebekahís besties in their day.

Throughout her interrogation at the Leveson inquiry she was cool, occasionally testy, but never for a second intimidated. Though she had been forced to walk the plank by News International, there was no hint of disloyalty. As for power Ė well, that of course resided in the readers of The Sun, not in her, nor in her boss Rupert. Sheíd never thought in terms of power.

And when, at last, after months of anticipation, the axe fell, was she supplicatory? Was there the faintest hint of regret or apology? Certainly not. There was haughty disdain for her prosecutors: " ... an expensive sideshow, a waste of public money as a result of a weak and unjust decision". And sheer, unmitigated fury: "I cannot express my anger enough that those closest to me have been dragged into this unfairly."

Brought before the House of Commons Committee on Culture last year at the height of the firestorm about the hacking of Milly Dowlerís telephone, her boss Rupert famously declared it the most humble day of his life. But this lady is not for humbling.


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Image:(AFP: Carl Court)

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