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LONDON – Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News International, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges made as the result of investigations into phone hacking and corruption allegations.
The pre-trial hearing focused on five charges against her in three areas – alleged phone hacking, conspiracy to make illegal payments to public officials in return for stories and attempts to pervert the course of justice at the height of the phone-hacking scandal. Brooks denied all the charges, which focus on her time at the U.K. publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp., in particular her time as editor of the News of the World and editor of the Sun.
Brooks, who had a reputation as a confidante of Murdoch, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in the British capital along with 10 other defendants who faced various charges. Among them were her husband, Charlie Brooks. He and six others were charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice by hiding documents and computers from police about two years ago around the height of the phone-hacking scandal.
All defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Andy Coulson, the former communications guru of British Prime Minister David Cameron and former News of the World editor, did not attend, but was expected at another court hearing on Thursday, Sky News reported. Brooks and her co-defendants face possible trial this September.
The London Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, last August formally charged Brooks with three phone hacking-related charges.
Last May, Brooks, her husband and four others were also charged with “perverting the course of justice.” Since then, she has also faced charges of illegal payments to public officials.
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