Asked who was responsible for the £30m editorial spending at the NoW – which paid hacker Glenn Mulcaire £100,000 a year – Mrs Brooks replied: “The managing editor’s department.”
In the second session of her evidence at the Old Bailey, Mrs Brooks described Mr Kuttner, also accused of plotting to hack phones, as “incredibly hard-working and very diligent.”
Asked by her barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC: “To what extent did you rely upon him?”, Mrs Brooks, replied: “I relied upon him a lot, almost completely to manage the process of the money, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be involved if there was a problem.”
She said that she had never heard of Mulcaire during her editorship of the News of the World between May 2000 and January 2003.
Mr Laidlaw asked: “Had anyone so far as you can remember spoken his name in your presence?” “No,” she replied.
Mr Laidlaw continued: “Was any involvement in that practice [phone hacking] ever drawn to your attention.” “No,” she told the jury.
Opening the defence this morning, Mr Laidlaw told the jury they were only at the “half-way point” in the trial, and that he could understand if they had been confused by the prosecution’s case, which he said had been jumbled and taken out of chronological order.
“I can’t promise to make sense of everything,” he told the nine women and three men. “But we are at least determined to try to address the material that has been introduced.”
Mr Laidlaw stressed that it was up to the prosecution to prove its case, rather than for Mrs Brooks to establish her innocence.
He told the jury to remove extraneous thoughts from their minds, saying:
“Although these allegations arise in the course of Mrs Brooks’s employment, she is not being tried because she was an editor of a tabloid newspaper. Neither is she on trial for having worked for Rupert Murdoch’s company, or having worked her way up through the organisation. She is not being tried for News International’s strategy, its policies or its corporate views.”
He added that the jury and the jury alone would decide the outcome of the case. After months of the prosecution case, they would hear from Mrs Brooks “as she is” – and not “as she is described or spoken of elsewhere.”
Before Mrs Brooks began her evidence, Mr Justice Saunders directed the jury to acquit her on one of the two charges against her of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
The prosecution had alleged that Mrs Brooks had authorised the purchase of a picture of Prince William in a bikini from a public official, but the judge reminded the jury there was “uncertainty” as to where the picture had originated.
Mrs Brooks, who denies alleged conspiracies to hack phones, commit misconduct in public office and pervert the course of justice, will continue giving evidence tomorrow. Mr Kuttner’s defence will begin later in the case.