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Jury to hear more about hacking
Jurors in the trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson will hear more about phone hacking at the News of the World (NotW) - including that of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone - as the prosecution opening of the case continues today.
The long-awaited trial at the Old Bailey yesterday heard that bosses at the now-defunct tabloid "must have known" about phone hacking.
As the case finally got under way yesterday, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told the jury of nine women and three men that a "great deal" of phone hacking went on at the newspaper, with celebrity victims alleged to include Jude Law and Sienna Miller, former home secretary David Blunkett, actress Joanna Lumley, and pop star Will Young.
The court also heard that the newspaper was "intensely interested" in the Royal family, with alleged victims including Lord Frederick Windsor, son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, former private secretary to Princes William and Harry, who recently became one of Prince George's godparents.
Mr Edis told jurors that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire - who the court heard was paid around £100,000 a year - and then-royal editor Clive Goodman admitted in 2006 to phone hacking, and that earlier in these proceedings Mulcaire had also admitted three counts of conspiracy to commit phone hacking, along with a count of phone hacking.
The court heard that former NotW journalists Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck had also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally access voicemails.
But Mr Edis said that the now-defunct Sunday tabloid was "not War And Peace" and those in charge of the "purse-strings" could easily track where stories had come from.
Mr Edis told the jury that the trial - which is expected to last up to six months - involves three types of allegations - claims of phone hacking at the NotW between 2000 and 2006; allegations that Sun and NotW journalists paid public officials for information; and an alleged "cover-up" to try to obstruct police investigating the claims.
Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; Coulson, 45, from Charing in Kent; former NotW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south west London; and the tabloid's ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, are all accused of conspiring with others to hack phones between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006.
Ex-NotW and Sun editor Brooks is also charged with two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office - one between January 1 2004 and January 31 2012 and the other between February 9 2006 and October 16 2008 - linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.
Fellow ex-NotW editor and former No 10 spin doctor Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and other unknown people to commit misconduct in public office - between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and between January 31 and June 3 2005.
It is claimed that Goodman paid palace policemen for copies of Royal phone directories - allegedly authorised by Coulson - to get information on members of the Royal family.
Brooks also faces two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - one with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 49, from Chelmsford in Essex, between July 6 and 9 2011; and a second with her husband Charles Brooks and former head of security at News International Mark Hanna and others between July 15 and July 19 2011.
The allegations relate to the alleged removal of Brooks' notebooks from the News International archive by Carter, and to "quite a complicated little operation'', allegedly involving Rebekah and Charlie Brooks and Hanna, to hide material from police investigating phone hacking.
The opening will continue today when Mr Edis is expected to tell jurors more about the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, as well as that of Lord Prescott.
All eight defendants, who deny the charges, are on bail.