2012年7月24日 星期二

Leveson Inquiry: Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks,

Two Ex-Editors for Murdoch to Be Charged for Phone Hacking

Prosecutors said they would charge Andy Coulson, the British prime minister’s former media director, and Rebekah Brooks, the ex- chief of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper business, in a phone hacking scandal.

Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson face charges

Alison Levitt QC: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability."
Eight people, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, will face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
The two ex-News of the World editors are to be charged in connection with the accessing of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone messages.
They are among seven of the now-defunct paper's former staff facing charges of conspiring to intercept voicemails.
The CPS said the charges related to 600 alleged victims between 2000 and 2006.
The others facing charges are former News of the World (NoW) managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former assistant editor Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant editor James Weatherup and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
The eight, who will be charged when they answer police bail, are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 16 August.
The revelation that 13-year-old Milly's phone had been hacked by the NoW after she went missing in Surrey in 2002 led to the closure of the Sunday tabloid newspaper in July last year.
'Upsetting' Mrs Brooks, who is also a former chief executive of the paper's publisher News International, faces three charges relating to the alleged accessing of phones belonging to Milly and former Fire Brigades Union boss Andrew Gilchrist.
In a statement, Mrs Brooks said: "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship."

Phone-hacking timeline

  • September 2010: Scotland Yard faces pressure to reopen phone-hacking investigation as celebrities launch legal actions for answers
  • April 2011: Officers from Operation Weeting, the re-opened investigation, make three arrests
  • July 2011: Rupert Murdoch closes down the News of the World after 168 years of publication. The same month, its former editor Andy Coulson is arrested, followed by Rebekah Brooks two weeks later. Other journalists are arrested during the course of the year
  • November 2011: The Leveson Inquiry opens in London
  • July 2012: Met Police say 74 people arrested to date, 26 in connection with Operation Weeting. Seven journalists and one private investigator charged in relation to phone hacking
She added that the charge concerning Milly was "particularly upsetting, not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime".
Mr Coulson, who also used to be Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief, will face four charges linked to accusations of accessing the phone messages of Milly, former Labour home secretaries David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, and Calum Best, the son of the late footballer George Best.
He told reporters he would fight the allegations and said anyone who had worked with him "would know that I wouldn't, and more importantly, that I didn't do anything to damage the Milly Dowler investigation".
"At the News of the World we worked on behalf of the victims of crime, particularly violent crime, and the idea that I would then sit in my office dreaming up schemes to undermine investigations is simply untrue," he added.
BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith says many people will now be pondering how the PM came to appoint someone to his inner circle who had these question marks against him.
It will not be a short, sharp difficulty but a long, slow protracted problem for the government with the build-up to the court case and the trial itself likely to go on for months, he says.
Mr Cameron will be concerned about the bolt-from-the-blue factor - not knowing what will emerge from the court case, our correspondent adds.
'Surprised' A solicitor for Mr Kuttner said his client "utterly refutes" the charges.
Mr Thurlbeck said he was "most surprised and disappointed" and would "vigorously fight to clear my reputation".
And Mr Edmondson said he had "much to say on this subject and I now look forward to saying it" and that he would clear his name at trial.
Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Neville Thurlbeck Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Neville Thurlbeck are among the eight facing charges.
All of the suspects apart from Mulcaire will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority between October 3, 2000, and August 9, 2006.
The charge carries a sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine.
Mulcaire, who was jailed in January 2007 after he admitted unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages received by three royal aides while working for the NoW, faces four unspecified charges relating to Milly, Mr Gilchrist, Delia Smith, and Charles Clarke.
He said he was "extremely disappointed by today's decision given that in 2006 I was the subject of a comprehensive police investigation on this matter".
"I subsequently pleaded guilty and served the prison sentence imposed on me by the court," he added.
"I intend to contest these allegations strenuously."
Prosecutors will allege that more than 600 people, including Hollywood actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were victims of the phone hacking conspiracy, the CPS indicated.
Other alleged victims named in connection with the charges were former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, television stars Abi Titmuss and John Leslie, chef Delia Smith, actors Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and footballer Wayne Rooney.
Decision deferred The CPS said that no further action would be taken in relation to three other suspects, former NoW reporter Ross Hall, sports reporter Raoul Simons and Terenia Taras, a former partner of Greg Miskiw.
Police have asked the CPS to defer making a decision over two remaining suspects who have been re-bailed while officers make further inquiries.
The BBC understands they are former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis and Dan Evans, who was a reporter on the paper.
Mrs Brooks was editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when she became editor of the Sun, before rising to become News International chief executive. She resigned from her position in July 2011.
She already also faces three charges of perverting the course of justice arising from the investigation into phone hacking - charges she has denied.
Mr Coulson was NoW editor between 2003 and 2007. He later became Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman but quit in January 2011.

Leveson Inquiry: Press links inevitable, says Tony Blair
Tony Blair is one of several high profile politicians who will be appearing at the inquiry this week
Continue reading the main story

The Leveson Inquiry
Q&A: The Leveson Inquiry
Hunt's memo to PM
Profile: Jeremy Hunt
The BSkyB takeover emails

A close interaction between politicians and the press is inevitable, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the Leveson Inquiry.

Mr Blair told the inquiry that at its best British journalism is the best in the world.

But Mr Blair said the use of newspapers as instruments of political power creates a relationship that is "unhealthy".

The inquiry is investigating the link between the press and politicians.

Mr Blair said it would be strange if senior media people and senior politicians did not have an interaction.

He said the word "unhealthy" rather than "cosy" was a better description of the relationship.

Mr Blair said he made a strategic decision as a political leader that he was going to manage that and not confront it.

He told the inquiry: "It's almost impossible now, even now, to dispute this issue to do with so-called "spin".

"I can't believe we are the first and only government that has ever wanted to put the best possible gloss on what we're doing, that is a completely different thing to saying that you go out to say things that are deliberately untrue."

Counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, asked Mr Blair why he did not take on the media.

He responded that this would have provoked a major confrontation and he did not want that to detract from other policy goals.

Mr Blair said he thought Ofcom was probably the right body to deal with media policy but did not envisage it replacing the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).Close relationship

He said the Sun and the Daily Mail were the two most powerful of the papers, and the Sun was important because it is prepared to shift its political allegiance.

Mr Blair said his government decided more things against the interests of Mr Murdoch than for them.
Continue reading the main story
What is the Leveson Inquiry?
High Court inquiry into culture, practice and ethics of press
Named as such because Lord Justice Leveson is inquiry chairman
PM David Cameron set it up after News of the World admitted phone hacking
It has two parts:
Part one - is examining relations between press, politicians and police, and conduct of each
Part two - will examine extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other media
Inquiry began on 14 November last year - Leveson's report expected within a year
Q&A: The Leveson Inquiry

Mr Blair is the first of several senior politicians due to appear at the inquiry this week, including Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He was the Labour Party leader between 1994 and 2007, and was prime minister from 1997 to 2007, before being succeeded by Gordon Brown.

He is reported to have a close relationship with News Corporation chairman Mr Murdoch, which could form the basis of the scrutiny levelled by the inquiry's barristers.

Mr Blair's relationship with Mr Murdoch first came into public view in 1995, when he travelled to Hayman Island in Australia to address News Corp executives.

The trip was part of a New Labour strategy to reach out to newspapers that had unfavourably portrayed previous leaders Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock.

It seemingly worked, and in 1997 the Sun newspaper, owned by the Murdoch subsidiary News International, switched allegiance from the Conservative to Labour.'Faustian pact'

The witness list also shows that Education Secretary Michael Gove, Home Secretary Theresa May, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and Mr Hunt are all due to appear before Lord Justice Leveson before 31 May.

Giving evidence earlier in May, one of Mr Blair's former cabinet ministers Lord Mandelson told the inquiry he felt the relationship had "arguably" become "closer than wise".

But he dismissed claims of a "Faustian pact" involving commercial concessions for News Corp in return for support from its newspapers.

In April, Mr Blair's former press secretary Alistair Campbell also denied any kind of deal prior to the 1997 general election.
Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng asked Tony Blair to be godfather to their daughter Grace

He told the inquiry: "I never was witness to, and I do not believe there was ever a discussion that said, 'now, Tony, if you do this and do this my papers will back you' - it just never happened."

During his evidence, Mr Campbell was also asked about three phone calls that took place between Mr Blair and Mr Murdoch in the run-up to the Iraq War in March 2003.

He dismissed suggestions that Mr Blair could not have pursued his defence policy without the backing of Mr Murdoch and the Sun as "complete nonsense"


布魯克斯和她的丈夫查理‧布魯克斯,她的私人助理卡特、受僱於新聞國際的司機愛德華和保全喬斯林,以及「新聞國際」安全主管哈納,6人被控涉嫌在去年7月間 隱瞞證據,妨礙警方調查,以及從新聞集團資料室搬走7箱資料、電腦設備等。檢察官李維特說,檢方做出起訴的6起案件,都有充足證據足以定罪。妨礙司法罪最 重可判終身監禁,但通常刑期都會比這輕。




16 May 2012 Last updated at 01:53 GMT

Brooks anger at hack probe chargeCharlie and Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks expresses anger after being charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice as part of the phone-hacking inquiry.

Leveson Inquiry: Cameron 'sent commiserations to Rebekah Brooks'

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Rebekah Brooks: "I received some indirect commiserations from politicans"
Prime Minister David Cameron sent Rebekah Brooks a "keep your head up" message when she quit News International, she has said.
Mrs Brooks told the Leveson Inquiry she got "indirect messages" from a number of Tories but ex-PM Gordon Brown was "probably getting the bunting out".
She quit as chief executive in July 2011 after the phone-hacking scandal led to the News of the World's closure.
Mrs Brooks is being asked about her relationships with politicians.
Asked by counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, if Mr Cameron had sent her a "keep your head up" message she said it had been "something along those lines".
Mrs Brooks - who was News of the World editor when voicemails of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone were allegedly intercepted - said she had received "indirect" rather than direct text messages from a number of politicians after she resigned as chief executive of News International.
They included messages from "Number 10, Number 11, the Home Office and the Foreign Office" and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Asked about her relationship with News Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, she said "in the main, on the big issues we had similar views" but they disagreed over issues including the environment, immigration and font size.
She said she preferred more celebrities in the paper while he wanted more serious issues.
"We only have to look at viewing figures to see it's the reality programmes that do so well, I took from those figures that our readers were quite interested in it.

“Start Quote

He did not have a mobile phone or in fact, I think, use a computer when he was prime minister”
Rebekah Brooks on Tony Blair
She said Mr Murdoch thought there was too much celebrity culture in the paper "although he liked X Factor".
Mr Murdoch had thrown her a surprise 40th birthday, she said, attended by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair but said she could not remember if then-opposition leader David Cameron had been there.
She said she spoke to Mr Murdoch "very frequently" but denied reports they went swimming together when he was in London.
The inquiry heard she became close friends with Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, as well as his spin doctor Alastair Campbell and his partner.
But she said she did not exchange texts or emails with Mr Blair because "he did not have a mobile phone or in fact, I think, use a computer when he was prime minister".
And she said she was never friends with Mr Blair's successor at number 10, Gordon Brown, but was acquainted with his "extraordinary" wife, Sarah.
Asked whose side she was on in the long-running feud between Mr Brown and Mr Blair, she said she was "on the side of my readers".
But she added that in the 2006 "curry house coup" - where a group of MPs agreed to call for Mr Blair's resignation, "we did take Mr Blair's side because the country was on ice because of the hostilities".
March arrest The phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World Sunday tabloid led to its closure and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry, an MPs' inquiry and the launch of three police investigations.

Rebekah Brooks has been described at the inquiry as a powerful personality.
At a hearing which is determined to be neutral, she's likely to be asked about her relationships with Tony Blair - the papers she ran backed him through three elections; and Gordon Brown - she was once Mr Brown's guest at a pyjama party at the prime minister's country residence.
Mrs Brooks' account will turn from historically interesting to potentially politically potent when she deals with the current prime minister.
There have been suggestions he texted her up to 12 times a day and told her to "keep her head up" after she resigned last year.
The veracity of such claims will soon be clear.
So too the damage, if any, that the testimony of Rebekah Brooks will inflict on the standing of David Cameron.
Mrs Brooks has denied any knowledge of phone hacking on her watch.
Questioned by MPs in 2011, she said News International had acted "quickly and decisively" in dealing with the hacking scandal.
She said she had never sanctioned payments to the police.
Mrs Brooks was arrested on 17 July 2011 over phone-hacking and corruption allegations.
She was released on bail and re-arrested on 13 March 2012 on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
She was bailed again to appear at a London police station in May 2012.
Inquiry lawyers will not be allowed to ask Mrs Brooks any questions that could prejudice the police investigation into phone hacking or any future trials.