Former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks (left) is finally to have her day in court, over two years after proceedings began against her on various counts including phone hacking, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office (paying policemen for information) and perverting the course of justice (disposing of evidence). Husband Charlie, a ‘racing figure’ and chum of PM David Cameron (as was Brooks) is also charged with the latter.
Brooks pleaded not guilt to five charges at a Southwark Crown Court hearing yesterday and a full trial is expected later this year. Mind you, according to a report in the FT, 29 barristers squeezed into the court somehow or other and with many legal eagles on the case anything could happen between now and the trial, expected to be in the autumn.
We obviously can’t speculate on what verdict a jury might reach although it’s worth noting that it was also revealed yesterday that a former police officer, Paul Flattey, was jailed for two years for accepting payment for information from the Sun, a News International paper that Brooks used to edit.
What we can say is that it’s clearly absurd for what, on the surface at least, doesn’t look like that complicated a case to come to court (and it’s not there yet). The law is clear enough and the evidence, such as it is, has been in police hands for years.