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Phone Hacking Trial: Brooks chatted to ex-husband, Editors voicemails accessed by Mulcaire – Martin Hickman

Rebekah Brooks at Leveson inquiryDay 53, Part 1: Rebekah Brooks asked to chat to her former husband about phone hacking a fortnight before the scandal about the interception of Milly Dowler’s voicemail hit the headlines.

In further evidence at the phone hacking trial, the prosecution produced emails written by Mrs Brooks in June and July 2011, including one to Ross Kemp.

At 11.03pm on 23 June 2011, the court heard, Mrs Brooks, then chief executive of News International, emailed her former husband Mr Kemp, saying: “Hello. How are you. May I talk to you about phone hacking at some point? When are you around?

Twenty-six minutes later, Mrs Brooks emailed her PAs Cheryl Carter and Deborah Keegan asking for her diaries for 2002 and 2003.

On 24 June 2011, Mr Kemp replied to her email, saying: “Over a month away is too long. A stone lighter. I’m around this week. Shall we have coffee? Am I in trouble? I’m always in trouble.

On 5 July 2011, a day after the Dowler story broke, Mrs Keegan emailed Mrs Brooks to say that Mr Kemp had called and that he had enjoyed seeing her and “Charlie” [Mrs Brooks’s husband] at the weekend.

The day Mrs Carter allegedly removed Mrs Brooks’s journalistic notebooks from News International’s archives, 8 July 2011, Mrs Brooks emailed Mrs Carter: “Coffee and milk separately please. This is disgusting,” to which the PA replied: “Coming up.

Shortly afterwards, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC gave the jury the full version of a love letter which Mrs Brooks had written to Mr Coulson in 2004 after a fracture in the relationship.

The jury read the letter in silence for four and a half minutes, after which Mr Edis read out the section of the letter he had read out to the court at the start of the trial, in which Mrs Brooks described Mr Coulson as her “best friend”.

In short technical evidence rounding off the prosecution case at the trial, the jury heard that Mrs Brooks’s hard drive had gone missing from her old PC in 2011. The PC had been destroyed in mid-2011, in line with company policy to avoid ID theft and protect journalistic sources, because NI’s legal department had said that Mrs Brooks was not of interest to the police inquiry, the court heard.

She had not opted in to the voluntary archive retention system in operation at NI from 2005, and thus many of her emails had not been retained.

Part 2: News of the World contractor Glenn Mulcaire intercepted the phone messages of its current and former editors dozens of times, the Old Bailey learned yesterday.

Prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron showed the jury phone records disclosing that Mulcaire had accessed Rebekah Brooks’s (then Wade’s) voicemail 44 times between 1 March and 15 July 2006, and Andy Coulson’s 21 times between 1 February and 25 July.

On his notes, shown to the jury, Mulcaire had recorded the mobile number, direct dial number and PIN of Mrs Brooks, NoW editor between 2000 and 2003. On one, he wrote “Wade… Ross Kemp.” In another, Mulcaire wrote: “Charles somebody – ask Rebekah.”

He mis-spelled Coulson – the editor of the News of the World at the time – as “Coulsdon” and recorded his mobile network “Voda”, direct dial number and account details.

In top lefthand corner of one note on Coulson, where Mulcaire typically wrote the name of the journalist who commissioned him to intercept voicemails, Mulcaire wrote: Clive Goodman [The News of the World’s then royal editor]. On another three notes Mulcaire wrote “Clive”.

On another top-left entry, Mulcaire wrote: ”Greg”, referring to Greg Miskiw, a News of the World news editor who has previously admitted conspiring to hack phones.

Mr Coulson, Mrs Brooks and the other defendants deny all charges.

The case will now hear legal argument without the presence of a jury for a week.

The defence case is scheduled to begin on Monday.

2 Comments

  1. davidhencke

    Reblogged this on David Hencke and commented:
    Fascinating that Mulcaire accessed Brooks’ and Coulson’s emails. Should learn to spell name properly though.

  2. Paul Smyth

    Reblogged this on The Greater Fool.

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