The Old Bailey “phone hacking” trial is about to begin its eighth week. There are now seven defendants facing a total of seven charges. The trial receives intermittent coverage in most newspapers but continues to receive excellent coverage online. The purpose of this post is to update our earlier post on the available online trial coverage.
There has been live tweeting from the Court by more than a dozen reporters (helpfully listed on #pressform). The most profilic and consistent of these has been @peterjukes. He produced a remarkable 4400 tweets, 84,000 words and 500,000 keystrokes.
Peter Jukes’ “crowd funded” Old Bailey tweets, have now been collated and indexed by @JonLippitt – producing a single document: “The Trial so Far“. This provides a daily rundown on what is happening in court: the submissions and the evidence. Claire Pollard has storified these tweets. These are invaluable resource – in many ways more useful and accessible than a conventional transcript.
BBC Home Affairs correspondent (and live tweeter @BBCDomC) Dominic Casciani has provided a summary “Hacking trial: The story so far” on the BBC Website – covering the period up to 22 November 2013. His BBC website pieces can be found here.
For those who want to get up to date on what has been happening at the trial Channel 4 news website has useful weekly summaries:
- Love letters, celebrity phones: phone-hacking trial week 1
- Missing notebooks, Milly Dowler: phone-hacking trial week 2
- Prince Harry, David Blunkett: phone-hacking trial week 3
- Cash payments and Glenn Mulcaire: phone hacking trial week 4
- Mulcaire and Goodman: phone hacking trial week 5
- William ‘Bond girl’ pictures: phone-hacking trial week 6
- Nut bowls and banter: phone hacking trial week 7
The most valuable resource for the trial is in the form of daily posts by @yorkierosie on the #pressreform blog. The post for each day has the live tweets with links to all the relevant press reports. Here are the links to the posts for the first 30 days of the trial:
Just to recap on the trial, there are now seven defendants – who deny all the charges. The jury were discharged from entering a verdict against the eighth defendant former NOTW news editor Ian Edmondson after the judge ruled that he was “currently unfit”. The BBC website has a “Who’s who in dock” (which includes Mr Edmondson).
The defendants are as follows:
- Rebekah Brooks, a former chief executive of News International and editor of the News of the World,
- Andy Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World and Downing Street Communications Director.
- Charlie Brooks, a racehorse trainer and the husband of Rebekah Brooks
- Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the News of the World,
- Clive Goodman, former royal editor of the News of the World
- Mark Hanna, former head of security at News International
- Cheryl Carter, a former PA to Rebekah Brooks.
There are seven charges falling into three groups. Only the first is directly concerns “phone hacking”:
- Brooks, Coulson and Kuttner between October 3, 2000, and August 9, 2006, conspired together and with others and persons unknown to intercept, without lawful authority, communications in the course of their transmission by means of a public telecommunications system, namely mobile phone voicemail messages.
There are then four charges concerning alleged payments to public officials:
- Goodman and Coulson, between August 31, 2002, and January 31, 2003, conspired together and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
- Goodman and Coulson, between January 31, 2005, and June 3, 2005, conspired together and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
- Brooks between January 1, 2004, and January 31, 2012, conspired with others and persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
- Brooks, between February 9, 2006, and October 16, 2008, conspired with others and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
Finally there are two charges relating to the alleged concealment of evidence:
- Brooks and Carter between July 6, 2011, and July 9, 2011, conspired together to do a series of acts which had a tendency to and were intended to pervert the course of public justice, namely permanently to remove seven boxes of archived material from the archive of News International.
- Brooks, Charles Brooks and Mark Hanna, between July 15, 2011, and July 19, 2011, conspired together and with others and persons unknown to do an act or a series of acts which had a tendency to and were intended to pervert the course of justice, namely to conceal documents, computers, and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan police who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun