'Murdochs escape relatively unscathed'

The actual, true story of today was that the Murdochs escaped relatively unscathed. Not that you'd know it from most of the reports.

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Lawyer for phone hacking victims welcomes Leveson report

David Sherborne, who represents the core participant victims of phone hacking, said his clients welcome the findings and recommendations of the Leveson report.

He said the report included a "clear recognition of widespread failings in the culture, ethics and standard of the press and the devastating consequences this has had for the victims".

He said that the report calls for a regulatory system with "real teeth" and called on the current parliament to implement its recommendations.


Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to appear in court today

David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are due to appear in court today to face charges linked to the investigation into phone hacking.

The pair are due at the Old Bailey with five other journalists from the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World, as well as private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is due to appear in court today.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is due to appear in court today. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup are also facing charges.

The seven former NotW staff face one general accusation of conspiracy to access voicemails, that prosecutors say could affect up to 600 victims, along with other charges related to specific people.

Hacking inquiry: Eight face a total of 19 charges

The eight charged in relation to phone hacking will face a total of 19 charges.

In addition to the charges against Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson:

  • Stuart Kuttner faces three counts of conspiracy to intercept communications, relating to the voicemails of victims who include Milly Dowler and David Blunkett.
  • Greg Miskiw faces 10 counts, with victims including Sven-Goran Eriksson, Wayne Rooney and Delia Smith.
  • Ian Edmonson faces 12 counts, with victims including Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Lord Prescott and Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller.
  • Neville Thurlbeck faces eight counts, with victims including David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, plus Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
  • James Weatherup faces eight counts, with victims including Wayne Rooney.
  • For legal reasons, Glenn Mulcaire won't face the charge of conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority. However, he faces four charges relating to victims including Milly Dowler and Delia Smith.


Who are they accused of hacking?

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has confirmed that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are among eight who face charges relating to phone hacking.

All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept voicemails without legal authority.

In addition, Rebekah Brooks learned she will face two further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications. The first relates to the voicemails of the late schoolgirl Milly Dowler, while the second relates to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist.

Andy Coulson faces four additional charges, relating to Milly Dowler, model Calum Best and former Cabinet ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke.

It was also revealed that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were among the victims or group of victims for which James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck will stand further charges.

The charges Rebekah Brooks faces

The Crown Prosecution Service announced in May that Rebekah Brooks was charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The charges in full were:

he CPS charges, in full, are:

  • Charge 1 – Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice: Rebekah Brooks between 6th July and 19th July 2011 conspired with Charles Brooks, Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards, Daryl Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.
  • Charge 2 – Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice: Rebekah Brooks and Cheryl Carter between 6th July and 9th July 2011 conspired together to permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.
  • Charge 3 – Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice: Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling conspired together and with persons unknown, between 15th July and 19th July 2011, to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers.

CPS to consider cases of five journalists in hacking probe

Scotland Yard has handed the Crown Prosecution Service files on five journalists for charging advice in relation to Operation Weeting, the force's investigation into phone hacking.

The files all relate to allegations of offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the CPS said.

We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing.

We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable.

– CPS spokesperson
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