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Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty in Britain's phone-hacking scandal

June 5, 2013 at 9:16 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, June 5 (UPI) -- Rebekah Brooks, ex-head of News International, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a London court to phone hacking, obstructing justice and bribery.

Her husband, Charlie Brooks, and nine others also pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges in the News of the World phone hacking scandal, including conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and unlawful payments to officials during a hearing at Southwark crown court, The Guardian reported.

Brooks pleaded not guilty to charges arising from three police investigations, including conspiring to pervert the course of justice by hiding evidence from police about the time of her arrest in July 2011 in the scandal, and allegations linked to unlawful payments to public officials.

The former editor of News of the World -- which was at the center of the scandal -- and confidante of media mogul Rupert Murdoch also pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to breech mobile phone voice mails of "well known people and/or those associated with them" between 2000 and 2006, including those of slain teenager Milly Dowler.

Brooks and her co-defendants face the criminal trials following the Operation Weeting investigation by London police into the alleged phone hacking, which led to charges the defendants conspired to unlawfully intercept voice messages.

Brooks and the other defendants in the Weeting operation were charged in July, a year after the News of the World was shuttered because of the scandal. The defendants could go to trial in September.

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