Feb 17, 2014

Half-time show: the prosecution’s case on phone hacking

The prosecution has outlined its case against former News of the World executives, and the defence will start next week. Journalist Rodney Tiffen reports from London for Inside Story.

It is half time at the long-running trial of former Murdoch executives Rebekah Brooks (pictured) and Andy Coulson, and five others, on charges of phone hacking, bribery and destroying evidence. The long-anticipated trial finally began on October 28 last year, and the prosecution has now finished its case, with the defence to begin its on February 17. The judge has told the jury that they will be retiring to decide their verdict not later than May 11.

Further trials will follow, each of them likely to involve several defendants, some of whom will face multiple charges. It is not yet clear how many there will be, but around 30 others have been charged. It’s possible that the verdicts in the current trial could expedite future proceedings; if these seven defendants are all found guilty, for example, some others may change their pleas to guilty.

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15 thoughts on “Half-time show: the prosecution’s case on phone hacking

  1. klewso

    It’s funny how determined these Murdoch employees were to get a story – here, what do you have to do to get them to look into a hint of “Abbott funny business”, that might embarrass the Murdoch government’s chances of re-election?

  2. Venise Alstergren

    Is it some amazing plot from outer space, the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, space ship Indor or a galaxy west of Saturn? How did any of the above mentioned-allegedly criminal-journalists come to flower unless the culture and ambience of Rupert Murdoch’s news-machines acted as a hot house of deceit?

    Western Democracy is a tired old whore. And all men are not created equal. A civilisation where its mega-rich citizens avoid condemnation and civil law is no better than the Roman, or any preceding civilisation.

    Murdoch makes me ashamed to be Australian.

  3. klewso

    When news becomes entertainment – but they sure can’t take the sort of heckling they love to give out?
    [I hate what Murdoch and his minions have done to the country – and he bailed out.]

  4. leon knight

    The possibility of turning as ugly (mentally and emotionally, as well as physically)as Rupert does not make you look forward to old age…..

  5. drmick

    Spot on Klewso. Even non murdoch press is sensitive just in case murdoch takes over 100% of the press in the country,shuts the abc and they have no where to work. Its just like 1984, complete with big brother except that ours in a bile filled pimp.

  6. DiddyWrote

    That Rebekah got a 10.8 million pound pay out, was a little fact I was unaware of.
    Will it be enough to ensure her silence or is it just the first payment of many more to come?
    Still Rupert has just had a unexpected windfall from the Australian Tax Office which should easily cover any additional costs.

  7. AR

    Teh million quidlets buy a lot of silent porridge.

  8. Kevin Herbert

    I agree Venise….and luckily, we don’t have to feel ashamed at being Aussies, ‘cos Rupert is no longer one of us.

  9. Sharkie

    On another News Limited story, can anyone find an article about the $880 million of taxpayer’s money gifted to rupert in any of his newspapers. Do their journos think this isn’t newsworthy or are they just utterly spineless?

  10. DiddyWrote

    Hi Sharkie,
    You aren’t wrong there doesn’t appear to be any reference to Rupert’s remarkable windfall from the ATO on the Limited News website, they are normally not so coy about their success.

    The whole timing of this roll over by the ATO is highly suspicious.
    Hockey was making threatening noises in May 2013.
    The ATO (led by somebody who had only been in the job for 7 months) has to decide if to appeal on an ancient case just weeks before the general election which is tipped to be won by a highly partisan Murdoch supported party.

    880 million dollars (for moving virtual debt between various international bodies) is placing 40 dollars of every man, woman and child in Australia straight into Rupert Murdoch’s pocket.

    This is the true face of entitlement.

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