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Phone-hacking scandal: Rebekah Brooks cleared, Coulson found guilty

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was cleared of any wrongdoing in the phone-hacking scandal that rocked News of the World in 2011.
By Ananth Baliga Follow @antbaliga Contact the Author   |   Updated June 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM
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LONDON, June 24 (UPI) -- Rebekah Brooks, former executive at News International, was acquitted Tuesday of all charges in the phone-hacking scandal that hit News of the World in 2011.

The jury found Brooks not guilty of hacking voicemails, two counts of conspiracy to pay public officials and two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. But News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty for conspiring to hack phones and is awaiting a verdict on two other charges.

Brooks and Coulson were among seven defendants facing various charges including phone hacking and perverting the course of justice, with Coulson being the only one convicted.

The verdict comes after nearly a week of deliberations by the jury, in what has been a lengthy trial looking into the scandal involving Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Allegations of phone hacking surrounded the British tabloid, News of the World, since 2006 but came to the fore in 2011 when a private investigator hired by the tabloid intercepted voicemails of missing British teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

Amid public backlash and a withdrawal of advertising, News International, run by Rebekah Brooks, announced the closure of the paper July 2011. The tabloid has also been accused of hacking the phones of families of British service personnel killed in action and the British royal family.

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