UK hacking jury told to 'look behind mask' of former editor Brooks

7th May 2014, Comments 0 comments

The jury in Britain's phone-hacking case were urged to look "behind the mask" of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks as the prosecution gave its closing remarks, following seven months of evidence.

Lawyer Andrew Edis told jurors at London's Old Bailey that Brooks had given a "carefully-choreographed and well-scripted performance" on the stand.

The 45-year-old denies charges of conspiring in voicemail hacking, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and two counts of trying to cover up evidence in order to pervert the course of justice.

She specifically denies conspiring to illegally access the voicemails of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

The allegation that Dowler's phone had been hacked proved the final straw in a slow drip of revelations about phone hacking at the News of the World, prompting owner Rupert Murdoch to summarily shut down the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid in July 2011.

Edis likened the case to a murder where "the body had been in the sitting room for a week" while the defendants claimed they had been in the kitchen.

"There was an awful lot of phone hacking going on at the News of the World in 2005 and 2006. An awful lot," said Edis.

"Was it the position, as (ex-News of the World reporter) Dan Evans says, the office cat knew? Was it the position, as (former News of the World royal editor) Mr Goodman said, hacking was going on on an industrial scale?"

Six others on trial also deny all the charges against them.

© 2014 AFP

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