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The phone hacking trial was the prosecution of journalists from British tabloid newspapers for illegal newsgathering techniques. It was the climax of the new police inquiries carried out by Scotland Yard into the phone hacking scandal. The News of the World newspaper had covered up the interception of the mobile phone messages of individuals from politics, showbusiness, sport, business and the law. The trial of its leading executives - which took place at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court) in London between October 2013 and June 2014 - became the longest concluded criminal trial in English legal history.
This is the only book on the multi-million pound case. It lists the charges and legal teams, details the defence and prosecution approaches, and describes the key moments in the case, including the testimony of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. Ar the start of the case Brooks - former editor of the Sun and the News of the World - and her erstwhile lover Andy Coulson, formerly the Director of Communications for the Conservative leader David Cameron, had to stand next to each other in the dock. Alongside them were their fellow defendants: Charlie Brooks, Mrs Brooks' husband; her PA Cheryl Carter; Mark Hanna, News International's head of security; Stuart Kuttner; former managing editor of the News of the World; and Clive Goodman, the "rogue reporter" blamed for eavesdropping the Royal Family.
They were variously accused of breaches of the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act 2000 (RPIA) relating to the interception of voicemails (phone hacking); the corruption of a Ministry of Defence official and police from the Royal and Diplomatic Protection Squad (the common-law offence of Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office); and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, over the cover up of hacking by Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group, News International. The case attracted national publicity at its start and end, but little methodical scrutiny throughout. Aselect band of journalists granted a press ticket watched the case's daily twists and turns.
The author of this book, Peter Jukes, appealed for and secured public donations for his coverage, becoming the first British journalist to be crowd-funded. He live-tweeted every day of the eight-month trial. In this factual, behind-the-scenes account, he assesses why Coulson was convicted and Brooks acquitted, and analyses whether the millions of pounds spent by Rupert Murdoch influenced the outcome of the case - and the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service.
The case involved the cream of the Criminal Bar in London, including Andrew Edis QC and Mark Bryant-Heron QC (for the Crown); Jonathan Laidlaw QC (for Rebekah Brooks); Timothy Langdale QC (Andrew Coulson); David Spens QC (Clive Goodman); Trevor Burke QC (Cheryl Carter); William Clegg QC (Mark Hanna); and Neil Saunders (Charles Brooks).
The jury heard about the interception of the voicemails of 30 victims including the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler; the Home Secretary David Blunkett; the Home Secretary Charles Clarke; the cook Delia Smith; and the footballer Wayne Rooney. The court was also told about secret tape recordings made by Clive Goodman after his arrest; cover-up emails within News International; and the willingness of politicians Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson to assist Rebekah Brooks. Witnesses included Sir Michael Peat from Buckingham Palace, the Labour politician Charles Clarke, the reality TV contestant Calum Best, and the actors Sienna Miller and Jude Law.
The book is suitable for anyone interested in British law, the phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch, and/or the Metropolitan Police investigations Operation Caryatid, Operation Weeting, Operation Elveden and Operation Tuleta. It is the ideal companion to Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman; and Hack Attack: How The Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch by Nick Davies It is dedicated to Alastair Morgan and the quarter of a century he had spent pursuing justice for his younger brother Daniel, murdered in 1987. He worked for a private detective agency in which the "dark arts" of tabloid newspapers flourished.