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News Corp. editor Coulson convicted, Rebekah Brooks walks

Rebekah Brooks, courtesy of Sky News via YouTubeRebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Mudoch’s News Corp. in Britain, was acquitted Tuesday of phone hacking, bribery, and other charges by a London jury after a seven-month trial.

Andy Coulson, a former tabloid editor there, and previously a media advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, was found guilty of one count of hacking.

Brooks’ husband, Charlie, and her former personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, were cleared of destroying evidence.

The jury is still considering further charges against Coulson. And it’s weighing bribery charges against Clive Goodman, a former editor at The News of the World, who allegedly paid police officers to obtain royal telephone directories.

The trial featured descriptions of how tabloid journalism works, with testimony about eavesdropping on the mobile phones of celebrities, the royal family, professional athletes, and politicians.

One defendant described the hacking as having occurred “on an industrial scale.”

Prosecutors had tried to link Brooks, 46, with a conspiracy to pay $160,000 to a defense ministry official.

When the phone-hacking and bribery scandals hit The News of the World in 2011, Rupert Murdoch quickly shut down the tabloid.

His New York-based News Corp. faces FCPA-related investigations in the U.S. The company has been cooperating with authorities.

As of this month, according to the Wall Street Journal, News Corp has settled 718 civil claims alleging voice-mail interception. There are 20 more claims pending.

Coulson, 46, went to work for British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2007. On Tuesday, Cameron apologized to the public for having employed him.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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