Royal pet names, office romance: hacking trial highlights

24th June 2014, Comments 0 comments

Here are some of the most memorable points which emerged over nearly eight months in Britain's News of the World phone hacking trial, in which former editor Rebekah Brooks was cleared Tuesday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson, who also ran the paper, was convicted of phone hacking and is awaiting the jury's verdict on further charges against him.

-Prince William, his wife Catherine and Prince Harry were among the royals targeted by the News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman, jurors heard. The then Kate Middleton's voicemails were hacked 155 times, William's 35 times and Prince Harry's nine times. William referred to Kate as "babykins" in one message;

- The trial revealed that Coulson and Brooks had an affair for several years. Brooks described her personal life as a "car-crash" and said an emotional love letter to Coulson which the court saw was written "after a few glasses of wine";

-Ex-prime minister Tony Blair advised Brooks days before her arrest in 2011 to "tough up", "keep strong" and take sleeping pills, according to an email written by Brooks;

-Queen Elizabeth II was furious that police were eating cashew nuts, Bombay mix and almonds left out at Buckingham Palace for guests ahead of Prince Charles's marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005, according to an email from Goodman to Coulson;

-Jurors heard the News of the World's investigations unit was called the "dark arts department" because of its ways of getting stories. Methods included the "Fake Sheikh" -- the alter ego of reporter Mazher Mahmood, who tricked celebrity targets into making unguarded comments;

-Brooks's husband Charlie admitted hiding a stash of pornography including DVDs 'Instant Lesbian' and 'Bride of Sin' behind a bin at their London home to try and stop police finding them during a raid;

- Actress Sienna Miller testified that her voicemail was hacked, leading to press reports she had a fling with James Bond star Daniel Craig while dating actor Jude Law in 2005. She confirmed the pair had a "brief encounter" but said the message was misconstrued;

- Brooks said she received death threats at the peak of public outrage over the hacking of the phone of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who was murdered in 2002;

- Former News of the World feature writer Dan Evans, who himself admitted hacking, claimed the practice was so rife that "even the office cat" knew about it. The defence insisted such a cat did not exist and called Evans "unreliable".

© 2014 AFP

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