Former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to hacking charges

6/5/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at a court in London, today, to enter a plea to charges related to phone hacking.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at a court in London, today, to enter a plea to charges related to phone hacking.

LONDON  — The former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International today denied all charges against her related to phone hacking.

Rebekah Brooks answered “not guilty” in a firm voice at a court hearing at London’s Southwark Crown Court, where she appeared along with a dozen others, mostly former News International employees, facing similar charges over the scandal that rocked Britain’s establishment.

Also in the dock were Brooks’s husband, Charlie, and former News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman, who like Brooks entered pleas of “not guilty” and also will face criminal trials.

Brooks is accused along with others of intercepting voicemail messages, conspiracy to commit misconduct involving public officials and obstructing a police investigation by withholding evidence.

The phone hacking scandal erupted in 2011, after it was revealed that journalists at News International’s now-shuttered News of the World tabloid routinely hacked into the voicemail messages of the rich, the powerful and other potential information sources.

The scandal spawned a police investigation and a host of official inquiries. Allegations of wrongdoing have since spread to other papers outside the Murdoch empire, and scores of journalists, police officials, and executives have been arrested or dismissed from their jobs.