Four plead guilty in News of the World phone hacking allegations as Brooks and Coulson stand trial
Three former news editors of the News of the World, along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, have pleaded guilty of conspiracy to hack mobile phones between October 2000 and August 2006.
Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup and Mulcaire’s guilty pleas seemingly proves that News International’s claims that phone hacking was the work of a rogue reporter, Clive Goodman, are evidently false.
The prosecuting counsel have said that the guilty pleas also mean that former editors of the paper, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson “must have known” that phone hacking was going on whilst they were editing the News of the World.
Andrew Edis QC, of the prosecution, told the jury: “There is no doubt that initially News International was keen to say that phone hacking in the News of the World was really limited to Mr Goodman but this inquiry has proved conclusively that that is not true.”
Edis went on to say that hacking “started when Mrs Brooks was the editor and continued after Mr Coulson took over…you will have to decide whether this could happen without the editor knowing”.
Brooks and Coulson are also accused of conspiring to pay money to corrupt public officials in exchange for information. Edis alleged that Brooks had personally overseen payments totalling £40,000 to an official at the Ministry of Defence.
Edis further accused Brooks, with the help of others, of conducting what he called “a cover up” after revelations about abducted school-girl Milly Dowler came to light. He said that Brooks had removed a number of her journalistic notebooks from the News of the World archive and had attempted to conceal computers containing incriminating evidence from the police enquiry.
Both Brooks and Coulson deny all charges against them.