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Entries in Rebekah Brooks (9)

Tuesday
Jul242012

Eight Charged in Rupert Murdoch Hacking Scandal

WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- After more than a year in the headlines, eight of Rupert Murdoch’s reporters and editors in Britain have been charged with hacking the voicemails of more than 600 people over a period of five years -- all in search of sensational stories for Murdoch’s now-shuttered tabloid The News of the World.

“There is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction inrelation to one or more offenses,” said Crown Prosecutor Alison Levitt at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Among those charged are Andy Coulson, former aide to Britain’s prime minister and ex-editor of The News of the World, and Rebekah Brooks, Murdoch’s trusted head of British operations.

The story exploded in Britain last year when it was revealed that The News of the World had hacked the phone of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and reported on the desperate messages left by her parents. When her family noticed that voicemails were being deleted from her phone, they were convinced she was alive. But, in fact, she had been murdered.

That revelation revolted the entire country and sparked what has been the decline of Murdoch’s global media empire.

In a statement Tuesday, Brooks denied the accusations, saying she was “distressed and angry” at prosecutors’ decision to charge her.

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Tuesday
May152012

Rebekah Brooks to Be Charged in Phone Hacking Case

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Former tabloid editor Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged as part of the phone hacking investigation taking place in Britain.

(LONDON) -- Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the now-defunct News of the World, will be charged with perverting the course of justice, prosecutors announced on Tuesday.

Her husband, along with four others, will also be charged.

The charges stem from the police investigation into the phone hacking scandal that forced the closure of the tabloid.  All six are accused of concealing documents, computers and other relevant materials from police.

Before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced the charges, Brooks and her husband released a statement, saying: "We have this morning been informed by the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions that we are to be charged with perverting the course of justice.  We deplore this weak and unjust decision."

The couple added, "After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station."´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Rebekah Brooks Held, Then Released, Following Early-Morning Raids

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Former News of the World editor and Rupert Murdoch confidant Rebekah Brooks, along with five others, were released on bail Tuesday following a set of early-morning raids in connection with the British tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

Authorities said they chose to release the group "pending further inquiries." One man remains in custody in London.

Brooks was also detained and questioned last summer, but was never charged.

It is believed that investigators are focusing on alleged efforts made by former News Corporation employees to cover up illegal activities.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul282011

Sarah Payne, Another Potential Phone Hack Victim

Stockbyte/ThinkStock(LONDON) -- The Guardian is reporting the cell phone of the mother of an another murdered UK schoolgirl was hacked by the News of The World.  The phone was given to her as a gift by the newspaper.  

Eight year-old Sarah Payne was abducted and killed in July 2000.

Following her murder The News of the World successfully for passage of  “Sarah’s Law,” modeled after “Meaghan’s Law.” Payne at the time was told the phone given to her would allow her to keep in touch with supporters of Sarah’s Law.

Mrs. Payne was contacted by Scotland Yard about the hacking.

In the final edition of the News of the World Payne praised the paper for being a "force for good" and a driving force for the law, adding: "It's like a friend died. I'm so shocked."

Ms Brooks said the latest allegations were "abhorrent" and "particularly upsetting" because Ms. Payne was a "dear friend".

She said in a statement: "For the benefit of the campaign for Sarah's Law, the News of the World had provided Sara with a mobile telephone for the last 11 years. It was not a personal gift. The idea that anyone on the newspaper knew that Sara or the campaign team were targeted by Mr. Mulcaire is unthinkable. The idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension. It is imperative for Sarah and the other victims of crime that these allegations are investigated and those culpable brought to justice.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul192011

Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks to Testify Before British Parliament

Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Rupert Murdoch and his son James will appear before British Parliament on Tuesday to be grilled by a special committee over evidence of phone hacking at the defunct tabloid News of the World.

Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International -- the company that owns the tabloid -- is also scheduled to testify.  Brooks resigned from her position on Friday and was arrested by London police on Sunday for her alleged involvement in the scandal.

The widening controversy has rocked the media, police and the public in Britain, where Murdoch owns many of the country's largest newspapers.  It is alleged that his now defunct News of the World hacked the phones of 4,000 people, from stars to crime victims, to get juicy stories -- all with the encouragement of top editors at the paper and aided by some in the police force.

Rupert Murdoch made a rare apology over the weekend, publishing a full-page ad in British newspapers.

"We are sorry.  The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.  It failed when it came to itself," Murdoch wrote in the ad.

The elder Murdoch is a man "who meets power with power" and is not going to leave News Corp. willingly, biographer Michael Wolff told Bloomberg News.  Wolff's book, The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, was published in 2008.

The Murdoch name has been synonymous with News Corp. even before it was incorporated in 1979.  Rupert Murdoch, the only son of Sir Keith Murdoch, took over his father's newspaper publishing business, News Limited, after Murdoch Sr. passed away in 1952.

After decades of cutthroat competition and shifting technology, the Murdoch family and embattled News Corp., which owns FOX News Channel, The Wall Street Journal and publisher Harper Collins, among other assets, now face the tough challenge of surviving a scandal that has even rocked Scotland Yard.

On Sunday, Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police commissioner and head of Scotland Yard, resigned.  A day later, John Yates, who led the police counter-terrorism department, also stepped down.

After the dust clears, Rupert Murdoch reportedly hopes one of his children will eventually take the reigns of what has been called the second-largest media congolmerate in the world in terms of 2010 revenue, second only to Disney, which owns ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul182011

Scotland Yard Chief Resigns as UK Phone Hacking Scandal Grows

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The growing phone hacking scandal in the U.K. has prompted the head of the famed Scotland Yard to resign.   

Sir Paul Stephenson, chief of London’s Metropolitan Police, announced his resignation Sunday amid speculation some of his officers accepted bribes from tabloid reporters in exchange for news tips, as well as because of his admitted links to a former News of the World editor he had hired for a public relations job.  That former editor, Neil Wallis, was arrested last week in connection with the phone hacking scandal.  Stephenson has denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the 43-year-old executive who ran media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids, was arrested at a London police station in connection with the scandal after voluntarily arriving to answer questions about it.  Brooks, who herself resigned Friday as head of Murdoch's News International, was later released on bail.

The scandal broke almost two weeks ago when it was revealed that reporters working for Murdoch allegedly hacked the voicemail account of Milly Dowler, a British teen who was murdered in 2002.  The reporters allegedly deleted messages, leading the victim’s family to believe their child was still alive.

Brooks has denied knowing anything about reporters hacking phone accounts.

On Saturday, Murdoch took out an ad in every London newspaper to apologize for the scandal.  The ad, which Murdoch signed, read, “The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.  It failed when it came to itself.  We are sorry.”

Murdoch shut down the profitable tabloid last Sunday in the wake of the scandal.  On Friday, Murdoch personally apologized to Milly Dowler's family.

Murdoch is scheduled to testify before Britain’s Parliament Tuesday and answer questions from lawmakers about the scandal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Rebekah Brooks Arrested in Phone Hacking and Bribery Scandal

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Police confirmed Sunday that Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the now defunct News of the World tabloid, has been arrested.

Brooks, 43, is the tenth arrest in the tabloid phone hacking and bribery scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. She was taken into custody by appointment at a London police station on charges of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications.

The arrest was made by officers from Operation Weeting, which is investigating the phone hacking, and Operation Elveden, which is investigating the suspected bribery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul152011

News Int'l CEO Rebekah Brooks Resigns Amid Hacking Scandal

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- In the midst of the hacking scandal surrounding Britain's famed tabloid News of the World, the chief executive of News International -- the company that owns the paper -- has resigned.

In a letter sent to her staff on Friday, Rebekah Brooks announced, "I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation.  While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted."

Despite growing calls for Brooks' dismissal, the executive remained at her position because she "believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis."  But, she admitted in the letter, that her "desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate," and has detracted "attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past."

"I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive," Brooks said, adding that the "resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries."

The executive also apologized to the victims of the scandal, saying, "I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place."

News of the World is accused of hacking into the cellphones of murder victims, terrorism victims and their families, and celebrities -- among others -- in an effort to produce and break stories.  The tabloid has since been shut down.  Its final issue hit newsstands on July 10.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul102011

News of the World Prints Final Issue in Wake of Scandal

Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Issues of News of the World rolled hot off the presses for the last time this weekend, the paper shuttered as a result of a hacking scandal that extends to the British government.

The newspaper that prided itself on being the first to break a story, even if it was rooted in salacious rumor, is shutting down after 168 years, leaving its 270 person staff without jobs.

A statement on the paper's website blamed the demise on staff from previous years, apparently trying to distance current employees from the scandal.

"We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards," the statement said. "Quite simply, we lost our way. Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry."

While News of the World staff may be losing their jobs, one person isn't -- Rebekah Brooks, a chief executive for News Corporation, the parent company of News of the World who was a former editor during the time of the alleged phone hackings.

Calls for Brooks' dismissal abound, but she isn't focused on that and neither is News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. He released a statement today saying that he has total support for Brooks.

"We already apologized," he said. "We've been let down by people ... the paper let down its readers."

Though News of the World is just one of Murdoch's territories, it may be the one that could threaten his ever-growing empire.

Murdoch is the man whose endorsements were sought after by prime ministers and whose media arm stretched across the Atlantic. Now with the onslaught of evidence against his paper and top editors, his focus is more on the future than the past.

He is expected to fly into London Sunday as he scrambles to salvage his company's bid for the satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting. But the mounting evidence of widespread involvement in the scandal that brought down News of the World could be too much for even Murdoch to overcome.

Already, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson and former royal editor Clive Goodman were arrested on charges related to the paper's hacking scandal.

The arrests are just the tip of the iceberg in the growing allegations against News Corp., including reports that News of the World hacked into politicians' and celebrities' voicemail and allegedly hacked into families' voicemails of Britain's fallen soldiers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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