Ex News International head remanded on bail

Jun 14, 2012, 08:17 IST | Agencies

A British court yesterday bailed Rebekah Brooks, the former aide to Rupert Murdoch and News of the World editor, on obstruction of justice charges relating to the phone-hacking scandal.

Brooks (44), her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, and four other people were bailed until June 22 after a 15-minute hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London. The six were banned from contacting each other, except in the case of the Brookses. Their next appearance will be at Southwark Crown Court, a higher court in London, ahead of an eventual trial at a later date.

Brooks and her husband arrived in a black London taxi at the court where a huge scrum of cameramen and reporters was waiting for them. Police whisked them past the queue for security. They looked relaxed and were both smiling, unlike the other defendants. All spoke only to confirm their dates of birth and addresses.

Rebekah Brooks faces three charges of removing boxes of material from the archive of News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp, and trying to conceal documents, computers and other material from police. Charlie Brooks, Cheryl Carter, Brooks’s personal assistant, Mark Hanna, the head of security at News International, Brooks’s chauffeur Paul Edwards, who was employed by News International, and Daryl Jorsling, who provided security for Brooks that was supplied by NI, all face one charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The charges carry a potential term of life imprisonment in Britain. The flame-haired Brooks edited the News of the World from 2000-2003 and then the Sun, Murdoch’s daily tabloid. She resigned as chief executive of News International in July, days after the weekly tabloid closed down in disgrace.

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