Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 20 Feb

Thursday 20 February 2014

The Defence of Rebekah Brooks Begins
Jury directed to find Rebekah Brooks Not Guilty on Count 4
Laidlaw Opens Rebekah Brooks Defence Case
Laidlaw discusses the Charges against Rebekah Brooks
Witness – Defendant Rebekah Brooks
Rebekah Brooks questioned on her upbringing and past career
Defence Evidence Bundles
Rebekah Brooks Career at News Group Newspapers
Rebekah Brooks joins News Group
Rebekah Brooks becomes Deputy Editor of the News of the World
Brooks asked about Les Hinton and Rupert Murdoch
Rebekah Brooks becomes Deputy Editor of The Sun
Rebekah Brooks as Editor of the News of the World
Rebekah Brooks appointed Editor of the News of the World
Brooks questioned on appointments she made as Editor
Brooks questioned on “Dark Arts”
Brooks questioned on Phone Hacking

The Defence of Rebekah Brooks Begins
Jury directed to find Rebekah Brooks Not Guilty on Count 4
Back at the #hackingtrial with the beginning of the defence: by order of indictment, Rebekah Brooks is first.
BREAKING: Justice Saunders tells the #hackingtrial jury that Brooks has no case to answer on charge 4
This is the case against Brooks about the picture of Prince William in a Bikini: “considerable uncertainty about where picture came from”
Justice Saunders explained this is about a point of law – the jury still have to elect a foreman pro tem.
Justice Saunders explains that the jury have to go answer two questions from the clerk on his Lordship’s direction
BREAKING: jury find Brooks not guilty of one misconduct charge. Four more charges remain.
Laidlaw Opens Rebekah Brooks Defence Case
Laidlaw makes his opening will create “a deep sense of disappointment” and a “collective groan” because “we’re only half way thru this case”
Laidlaw says this case might have taken “far too long” and is “not the easiest case to follow” because of lack of chronological order.
Laidlaw says to Jury: “as the order was lost, as we jumped around from topic to topic, it must have been difficult..”
Laidlaw says the prosecution bundles “aren’t of much great help at all” to the jury at #hackingtrial “they’re in something of a mess”
Laidlaw says “prosecution timelines” on Brooks’ editorship of Sun and NOTW “not complete… critical information left out.”
Laidlaw says prosecution timelines are “potentially misleading” and says any jury uncertainty is “understandable”
Laidlaw: “At the end of all the evidence… not just the prosecution but the defence, it will be your collective job to make sense of this”
“You and you alone… are the judges of the facts, and it is your view which matters,” says Laidlaw for Brooks to #hackingtrial jury
“Our task is… to remove any confusion there is, address the lack of order, and expose material for proper examination to you,” Laidlaw
“We simply do not know or understand the point being made,” says Laidlaw of some parts of prosecution case.
Laidlaw says he will save for closing on Brooks ” treatment at the hands of the police and prosecution… but now is not the time for that.”
Laidlaw says he will address “what Mrs Brooks is NOT on trial for” and “burdens and standards of proof.”
“The single most important thing of any criminal,” says Laidlaw: “The prosecution shoulder the burden… of a very high standard of proof”
“The most important of legal directions,” says Laidlaw “it is not Mrs Brooks who bears the burden of making out her innocence.”
Laidlaw “can we remove what this trial is NOT concerned with…” he comes up with a short list.
“She is not being tried because she was the editor of a tabloid newspaper,” says Laidlaw. “Views differ about the tabloid press”
“Neither is she on trial for working for Rupert Murdoch’s company… she’s not being tried for News Internationals… corporate views.”
“Neither is Mrs Brooks on trial for any political views she might hold… or support given to one political party at one time or another.”
“It shows how important it is to be fair and focused,” says Laidlaw. “Your verdicts have nothing to do with those views.”
Laidlaw discusses the Charges against Rebekah Brooks
“The trial is about serious criminal allegations… but there are agendas, as you can all see, being pursued elsewhere,’ says Laidlaw
Laidlaw address the three sets of charges: Count 1 Phone hacking charge, and conspiracy to access voicemail messages
“Did she know about and endorse a practice of phone hacking at NOTW during the term of her editorship,” says Laidlaw of Count 1
Count 5 is the remaining misconduct charge covering Brooks’ time at the Sun and payments to Bettina Jordan Barber at the MOD.
“Did she know that [sun employee’s] contact was a public official?” says Laidlaw of remaining misconduct charge
Laidlaw turns to the two conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges Brooks faces with her husband and PA.
“Did she give instructions that material should be put beyond the reach of the police,” says Laidlaw on Counts 6 and 7
“It’s almost time for the twelve of you to listen, to see Mrs Brooks as she is, and not as she is described elsewhere,” says J Laidlaw QC
“That’s that what matters, what you twelve make of her,” says Laidlaw to the jury of his client Brooks.
The Brooks defence team has created its own bundles with material “in the right place” with additional documents not adduced by prosecution
“We’re going to be dealing with nearly 12 years of Mrs Brooks’ career, so it’s going to be a long process,” says Laidlaw of his defence.
Witness – Defendant Rebekah Brooks
Rebekah Brooks questioned on her upbringing and past career
BREAKING: Brooks enters the witness box at the #hackingtrial and is sworn in
Saunders invites Brooks to sit down, and explains she can take a break if she needs one. “You cannot contact lawyers during your evidence.”
Justice Saunders understands this lack of contact will be a “considerable burden” but she can request documents.
Laidlaw goes into Brooks’ background and “path into journalism”
Brooks says she was born in 1968 in Warrington, Cheshire.
“I went to local state primary and local comprehensive,” says Brooks who completed A Levels.
“I was an only child,” says Brooks. “We lived with my granddad, my father’s father, and later on with my mother’s mother.”
Neither grandparent was well – Brooks says she was involved in their case
“My dad was a gardener basically,” says Brooks. “My mother was a PA in an engineering firm,” then left to help her dad
Brooks answers quiet and monosyllabically to questions about the divorce of her parents in her 20s
Brooks explains she had “Saturday jobs” and helped out with the “family business”
Laidlaw explores how the “seeds” of Brooks’ journalist career were started.
Brooks “My grandmother, who lived with us, she was a writer… and wrote a poetry column for a local newspaper… the idea came from her”
“My mum said I told her at the age of 8 that I wanted to be a journalist, but mum’s do tend to say those things,” says Brooks of career.
“I probably swept the floor a bit and made some tea,’ says Brooks of a stint as 14 year old at Warrington Guardian owned by Eddie Shah
“The other thing my grandma taught me was to speak French,” says Brooks. She returned from France to work for Eddie Shah’s Post
“In the embryonic stages of the Post,” Brooks says she started as a “runner” and was offered a full time London job
“I gave up any possibilities for future education to take up that job,” says Brooks of her first full time job at the Post.
Brooks speaks of Shah’s attempted to launch a national newspaper “I think it only lasted about eight weeks”
“Journalists arrived from across Fleet St.. quite a lot from News Int, and it closed around Christmas,” says Brooks of time at Post.
Brooks “At the Post I started to do some research for senior journalist… bit by bit allowed to write a paragraph… on the job training.”
“I was very enthusiastic,” says Brooks of the Post. She then moved on to work on the News of the World Sunday magazine.
Defence Evidence Bundles
Laidlaw hands the jury and Justice Saunders a new bundle of evidence.
Bundled is named “phone hacking allegation” says Laidlaw. “Its our attempt… to put… prosecution material into order… additional docs”
The Index shows Chapters within Brooks’ editorship between 2000-2003 and further sections dealing with other aspects of evidence
Rebekah Brooks Career at News Group Newspapers
Rebekah Brooks joins News Group
Laidlaw takes Brooks to Chapter One 1989-2000: first document is News Group employment record (a subsidiary of News International)
Employment starts in April 1989 with NGN/News International. “Quite a few journalists at Post… went back to their jobs at the Sun…”
“Some of the people who went back to NOTW…. put in a word for me,” says Brooks of move from Post to News International
Brooks was given the job of researcher with a 3 month probationary period at NOTW magazine 17/03/89
“It was the start of a proper job… this was a staff job,” explains Brooks of first NOTW employment in 89
Brooks was living in Hounslow in 89: NOTW based “round her actually, on Grays Inn Road” Brooks didn’t know Hounslow so far away.
Brooks first editor was Colin Jenkins at NOTW
Laidlaw asks “how common was it to have a woman working on Fleet St”. Brooks says NOTW “quite unusual… with Wendi Hendry editor.”
“With the popular press…. women had become editors, so it wasn’t a great shock,” says Brooks of popular press.
“Percentage wasn’t very high…. but the editor was woman, which was good,” says Brooks of women on Fleet St.
Brooks says there were more women on features at NOTW – they used to call it the “pink parlour”
Brooks confirms she had no formal training in journalism – but she attended a course at London College of Printing while working.
Brooks remembered “being keen to do it, but I don’t think it was my idea” of LCP course “basic course on fundamentals… of production side”
Brooks explains newspaper production “physically getting paper from screen to being printed… sub editors, back bench, etc.”
Laidlaw asks Brooks about “contacts and sources”. Brooks says “It was quite a basic course… but learning on the job probably mor important
“Right from the beginning, there was huge emphasis on developing contacts for journalists,” says Brooks. “It’s your trade.”
“It’s a picture that built up very quickly that was something I had to do,” says Brooks about sources and contacts.
“I was becoming a feature writer at NOTW… it was later on I was introduced to confidential sources,” says Brooks.
Brooks explains her job as researched. If senior feature writer was going to “meet someone from Eastenders” she would write up research
Brooks mentions Gita Sereny’s book on the Children of Third Reich, and NOTW wanted a spoiler even though Times had serialised it.
In July 1989 “you appear to have survived the probationary period,” says Laidlaw.
On redactions “They don’t want you to know how much you were paid in 1989,” jokes Justice Saunders. Brooks says “Probably not v much”
Brooks explains the kind of things appearing on NOTW magazine features.
“The NOTW magazine had quite a focus on celebrity and real life stories… unusual human interest stories,” says Brooks.
Laidlaw talks about move from researcher to writer: “I started interviewing people,” explains Brooks “Mixture of celebrity interviews”
“I enjoy doing it,” says Brooks of interviewing people. “Very talkative and interesting… in the main,” she says of her interviewees.
“With ‘establish contacts’ in the back of my head… the mantra all around me,” Brooks explains she’d keep in contact with interviewees
Laidlaw says he’ll later talk about Paul and Sheryl Gascoigne and the friendship Brooks made there
Brooks talks about Sue Carroll moving from magazine to deputy ed of NOTW: “two women at top of best selling newspaper in country”
Sue Carroll then recruited Brooks from magazine to newspaper features at NOTW concerned with “big buy ups and interviews”
Jury shown March 1994 letter promoting Brooks to deputy ed of features on NOTW. She moved to main newspaper from magazine two years before.
Brooks explains to jury the principle desks on a Sunday newspapers: news, features, sport
“Showbiz had it’s own section… don’t know if it did in those days,” says of the division of desks at NOTW.
“We used to call it all ‘furniture’ – motoring, gardening, agony aunt ‘back of the book'” says Brooks of features remit. Plus columnists.
“At NOTW, the features desk and news desk… did similar kind of things…. competition between two desks,” for front pages says Brooks
“At features you’d have most the buy outs, celebrities doing interviews… a negotiated deal,” says Brooks of features.
Brooks says features desk wouldn’t have such an “investigative role… not as focused as in news. No special pages in NOTW.”
“News would have more resources,” says Brooks of rival desk at NOTW.
Within a couple of months in 1994 Brooks was promoted from deputy to main features editor at NOTW.
Rebekah Brooks becomes Deputy Editor of the News of the World
December 1995 Brooks was appointed deputy editor of News of the World. Stuart Kuttner‘s name on those appointments as managing editor
Brooks explains her appointment “because of my age and lack of experience – as I you can see – I was given job of acting deputy editor”
Brooks says of acting deputy editorship and features jobs “NOTW had a very strong relationship with Max Clifford… I dealt with him a lot.”
“It’s a pretty rapid rise through the features desk,” says Laidlaw of Brooks’ career from arriving at NOTW in 1992 and become dep ed 1995
“I think I was 27,” says Brooks of her age on becoming deputy editor of News of the World. Brief break now before Laidlaw continues.
Back after a break with Brooks at the #hackingtrial
Jonathan Laidlaw, QC for Brooks, introduces a new jury bundle – Count One, Newspaper articles
“This is illustrative of the kind of work you were responsible for on the features desk,” says Laidlaw. Brooks continued features as dep ed
July 1994: Brooks was just appointed features editor. Laidlaw cites a Paul and Cheryl Gascoigne article, before he played at Lazio
The article is about the time Gascoigne broke his leg while playing at Tottenham.
Brooks got to know Cheryl through Paul Gascoigne. They became long term contacts.
Brooks thinks this Gascoigne article was one of her first front pages.
The Gascoigne story focuses on domestic violence.
Brooks says the ‘buy out’ for the Gascoigne feature was “fifty or eighty thousand… relatively high” for her NOTW front page
“I’d been out to Lazio… I’m a football fan… spent some time in Italy,” says Brooks about the background to Gascoigne front page.
“There’s obviously a very serious context to this,” says Laidlaw to Gascoigne story and asks Brooks how she approached it.
“From memory there was an incident that was reported at Gleneagles (of domestic violence)… Paul had said he had some issues,” says Brooks
“It was a big story… at the time,” says Brooks “discussing this very sensitive subject…. it was a good story… human interest story.”
“I spoke to his advisers about the situation and a formal contract was done and he sat down and told me the story,” Brooks on Gascoigne
“Sheryl and I became good friends,” says Brooks of impact of Gascoigne story.
“If you want to bring in a front page story you have to get the money side sorted,” says Brooks.
“The fact Paul talked to me about such a sensitive subject it allowed me to do it time and time again,” says Brooks of Gascoigne DV story
“The level of money I remember being particularly high,’ says Brooks of £50-80k payment for Gascoigne story
July 1995: Laidlaw cites another Brooks “buy up” story while she was features editor at NOTW.
NOTW piece cited on Divine Brown: Laidlaw talks about the “sorts of resources devoted to a story like this.”
“The news story… broke during the week,” says Brooks of arrest of Hugh Grant.
Brooks talks about finding Divine Brown on the Hugh Grant story: she’d disappeared after custody. Brooks used a PI called David Schumacher
“The NOTW got there first, and she agreed to deal with us,” says Brooks of Divine Brown exclusive.
“The deal with Divine Brown was about £100k…there was a huge cost… expectation Sun and Mail wouldn’t be far behind.” Brooks says.
“From memory she wanted to take quite a lot of people with her,” says Brooks of moving Divine Brown “Nevada… the desert.”
“It all seems to silly now,” says Brooks of relocating Brown. Laidlaw asks about the costs. “She’s very smart,” says Brooks of Brown
Brooks says there was a “huge cost” of hiring plane, and a house on an oasis desert resort for Brown. They relocated her twice.
“I certainly blew the weekly spending limit,” says Brooks of Brown story. “Total was something like £250k…. a lot of money.”
Laidlaw asks more about weekly spending limits when Brooks was a desk head. Brooks thinks it was about £50-60k
“The editor was given a pot… Stuart Kuttner would allocate costs… you had quite a lot of autonomy, but if you went over…” Brooks says.
“I was making decisions… in the middle of the night…. you make decisions on the hoof,” says Brooks of breaking spending limit
Laidlaw returns to the topic of competition between News and Features at NOTW.
“At the NOTW it was incredibly competitive…. I noticed that when I left the fluffy world of the magazine.” says Brooks.
“It was almost like they’d wish the Mirror had the story,” says Brooks of rival desks, “competition encouraged by editors.”
Laidlaw asks Brooks to “paint the scene” of the physical distance between News of Features: opposite ends of news room
“I know lawyers have a reputation for drinking a lot, but so do journalists,” says Laidlaw QC asking news and features would socialise
During 94-95 Brooks says Head of News and Investigations was Alex Marunchak, deputy Greg Miskiw
Marunchak and Miskiw “looked quite old at the time” says Brooks.
“I was unusually young,” says Brooks. Her rivals on News Desk desk Marunchak and Miskiw late 30s mid 40s
“I was unusually young and a woman,” says Brooks of her early days at NOTW. “There was a bit of old school misogyny added in to competition”
Brooks gives an example of misogyny about a judge and his wife: “I can assure you it’s not me,” jokes Justice Saunder.
“NOTW had about 10 million readers,” Brooks wanted to do an appeal to readers on that story, only to find her phone on feature had been cut
“Part of the internal competition, they compiled files of any perceived mistakes or stories I’d done… Twat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6” says Brooks
Laidlaw talks about Brooks role of deputy editor at a relatively young age of 27
“I hadn’t come up the conventional route… at the time coming up through feature desk unusual route,” says Brooks of dep ed appointment
Brooks talks about how she would take over if the editor was holiday, or took a day off for weddings etc: “About ten times a year”
Laidlaw cites the 11/02/96 NOTW headline IRA bombing of Canary Wharf: Brooks’ editor had gone on holiday.
Laidlaw explains how the peace process was stuttering in 1996 when the Canary Wharf bomb went off.
Brooks says of Canary Wharf Bomb coverage “this was the first time I was left in charge…. a bit serious story like that I was on edge.”
“I was trying to reflect the seriousness of what happened in NOTW way,” says Brooks of human interest angle on Canary Wharf
“I think the bosses were quite nervous,” says Brooks. “My boss Les Hinton came in for a few hours….but we got paper out.”
Brooks explains how Les Hinton was CEO and exec chair of News International by the mid 90s
Laidlaw talks about Labour coming to power in 1997 “after a long period in the wilderness.”
Brooks talks about Tony Blair flying out to News Corp conference in 1995.
“My boyfriend at the time, Ross Kemp, is still a card carrying member of the Labour Party.” Brooks joined him a education rally in 1996
Brooks went with Kemp and met Blair, Cherie, Alastair Campbell, Fional Millar, Peter Mandelson around this rally in1996
Brooks explains how the Sun shifted towards New Labour in 1997: “the story was more about the Sun than the NOTW… it was a big thing.”
Brooks asked about Les Hinton and Rupert Murdoch
Brooks speaks about Les Hinton: “he’d worked for Rupert Murdoch for 35 year…. since he was 16… similar situation to me.”
“He started off by getting Rupert sandwiches,” says Brooks of Les Hinton’s career.
Brooks explains how Les Hinton moved at the end of 2007 to head up Dow Jones, and resigned 2011 same time as Brooks. 54 years with Murdoch
Laidlaw asks Brooks about Hinton’s “influence on you.” Brooks says he made her deputy ed. “He was the big boss.”
“Les was… .in the newsrooms everyday… he’d been around Fleet St forever,” says Brooks. “He is a respected figure.”
Laidlaw asks about contact with Rupert Murdoch till 1997; “some” says Brooks. “He tended to call his two Sunday UK papers around same time”
Brooks explains the Saturday night call to NOTW and Sunday Times: “it’s production day… all magazines printed 10 days before.”
“We had a print run of five million,” says Brooks of NOTW at the time: “it took a long time to print…. the ST had so many sections.”
“Rupert Murdoch would call on Saturday night wherever he was in the world,” says Brooks; “He would ask ‘what’s going on?'”
“He’s obsessed by news, even if a breaking story was coming out that wasn’t featured in the paper,” says Brooks of Murdoch.
Brooks says Murdoch “wasn’t directly connected to my appointment as editor… Les made that decision.”
Brooks on Murdoch coming into her office as Dep Ed: “He was particularly keen for me to take a strict path in any kind of publicity”
“He wasn’t very fond of editors… going on Radio 4 and spouting forth their opinions,” says Brooks of Murdoch. “Don’t court publicity”
Laidlaw moves onto May 1996 to another NOTW edition Brooks edited as deputy.
Brooks talks about “doing something different” with NOTW that week though “I always loved celebrity.”
Brooks talks about taking NOTW in “a slightly different direction” from usual celebrity. “The start of something more campaigning” sheys
The NOTW story is about serving life sentences, and time taken out of prison.
“It didn’t sell particularly well,” says Brooks of her editor’s displeasure with the prison story of day release for lifers.
“Doesn’t look much like a debating point,” says Justice Saunders of NOTW front page on rehabilitation of lifers.
Rebekah Brooks becomes Deputy Editor of The Sun
Laidlaw moves to January 1998 when Brooks was appointed Deputy Editor of the Sun with a brief resume so far.
Until that moment Brooks had spent the whole of her career at NOTW. She was 29 when appointed deputy editor of the Sun: first daily paper
Stuart Higgins was the editor. Les Hinton appointed Brooks as his deputy in 1998: “What was the thinking?” asks Laidlaw
“I was told by Les at the time, they wanted to make the paper less ‘blokey'” says Brooks of her appointment to the Sun.
Brooks says the plan was to “To bring in more women into the business”. She helped form “Women in Journalism” in 1995.
“It was just the red tops that had female editors… the broadsheets hadn’t come even close,” says Brooks of founding ‘Women in Journalism’
“It stirred some male colleagues up a bit… particularly at the Daily Mail,” says Brooks of co-founding ‘Women in Journalism’
Brooks says at the time Les Hinton thought the Sun had become “too trivial… needed more substance to the paper.”
‘Stuff like their hospital having MRSA or knife crime on the streets,” says Brooks about the plan for changing the Sun.
Laidlaw asks about relationship between NOTW and the Sun; “none, really,” says Brooks. “They were very very separate.”
“We were on the same floor.. but Sun frosted windows in case anyone from NOTW caught any stories,” says Brooks.
“The print rooms would have to be locked down… so journalists couldn’t go down there and take copies,” Brooks says of four NI titles
“It was almost quite comical the level of competition,” says Brooks. She remembers editor of the Sun banging on the door over Divine Brown
Brooks says the NOTW and the Sun were in competition with each other: “probably more than with the Mirror and the Mail.”
Brooks also says there were rare examples of collaboration between Sun and NOTW, and usually one when “Les stepped in”
Break till 2.05 pm.
Back at the #hackingtrial with Rebekah Brooks in the witness box.
We’re dealing with Jan 1998 to Jan 2000 of Brooks’ career at the Sun at the #hackingtrial
Brooks says there was a “mixed reaction” from Sun journalists on her arrival as deputy, since she was appointed by Exec Director over Editor
“I’d come from the opposition – NOTW – and features, and there had never been a female deputy editor,” says Brooks of arriving at Sun.
“The first few months were very tough,” says Brooks of arriving at Sun; “I had Cheryl with me, lots of the support from Les and Mr Murdoch”
“Some of the backbenchers, were a particularly tough nut to crack,” says Brooks. “I had to edit the Sun quite quickly within a few weeks.”
Brooks corrects the figures on the Divine Brown stories from this morning – she meant 100k dollars rather than pounds.
Brooks was still involved on “buy ups” at the Sun, but less emphasis on buy ups than the NOTW.
“You certainly don’t leave them behind,” says Brooks of contacts. “I worked with Stuart Higgins and Piers Morgan who had lots of contacts”
Laidlaw cites June 1998 Gascoigne article in the Sun about England training camp as “example of story you brought with you.” Brooks agrees.
Brooks is asked about Exclusive dot com: a 90s digital project
http://Exclusive.com was a business to provide content outside newspapers,” says Brooks. Andy Coulson was involved.
Rebekah Brooks as Editor of the News of the World
Rebekah Brooks appointed Editor of the News of the World
May 2000 as Brooks becomes editor of NOTW, Exclusive dot com was presented to “Les and the bosses”
“There’s been a change of plan for you,” said Les Hinton to Brooks. Instead she was appointed editor of NOTW.
Brooks explains exclusive dot com was a victim of bursting dotcom bubble around 2000.
Brooks said she had no notice of being given editorship of News of the World. No application or advance warning.
We’re now in the era of the “Count One” allegations Laidlaw explains, especially over Glenn Mulcaire from 2000 to 12/01/2003
Brooks says she never heard or have contact from Glenn Mulcaire. She knew using private investigators was common in Fleet Street.
Brooks refers to a recent article that says lawyers also use private investigators.
BREAKING: Brooks says neither Mulcaire nor phone hacking was ever brought to her attention during editorship of NOTW.
“I’m sure someone else can take over perfectly adequately,” jokes Saunders when Laidlaw’s phone goes off in court 12. Laughter.
Brooks says her previous work was “issue based… campaigning probably came later” while starting at NOTW.
“I said to Les that Andy Coulson would be a good deputy for me,” says Brooks: “And he completely agreed”.
Brooks says she first met Andy Coulson around 1995: he was working at the Sun. They both worked together there and on exclusive dot com
Brooks explains the different strengths of Coulson: “Andy had come more from a news background. Andy is a diehard football fan.”
Brooks: “Andy was better at sports than I was, and had been showbiz editor, like Piers Morgan. Quite a few editors came from showbiz dept”
“I was more politically driven… not motivated by a party, but issue driven. Changing things that changed your lives,” says Brooks
Brooks talks about the welfare reform bill under New Labour: “things that concern the readers.”
Laidlaw cites a Media Week article from Nov 2000, about Brooks’ editorship of NOTW.
Laidlaw says “this shows evidence of serious campaigning journalism” in regard to Sara Payne campaign, and targeting “female audience”
Laidlaw wants to go through the organisation of the NOTW, and various roles of “other people on trial with you”
Laidlaw shows the jury 2001 NOTW organisational chart: which Brooks says she’s recreated from memory.
CEO: Les Hinton at top of chart of News International organisational chart – Justice Saunders clarifies it’s not NOTW
“News International was a pretty huge company, Les was at the top,” says Brooks going through senior NI execs not concerned with editorial
Justice Saunders asks about the managing director of NGN: various exec roles disappeared in 2007
Brooks explains the roles of the managing editor to CFO.
Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks, focuses now on structure of NOTW in 2001. Kuttner managing editor.
Brooks explains that associate and night editor roles at NOTW.
Brooks explains that during her editorship there was a separate Irish and Scottish NOTW editions with separate editors.
Brooks now explains the role of the ‘back bench’ in the layout, headlines and production of newspaper, and middle bench of sub-editors
Justice Saunders asks where Tom Crone at legal reported into: Brooks says one stage it was finance, and then Colin Milner.
Organisational chart drawn from Brooks’ memory has hierarchy News, Features, Crime reporter, Political, Royal and Diary.
Brooks explains about the budget for the picture desk – about £4 million she estimates.
“They used a very strong design… very heavy on graphics,” says Brooks of production of News of the World.
Brooks estimates 170-180 full time staff worked for her when she was editor of News of the World.
“A lot of journalists are freelance, it’s a respectable job,” says Brooks
“There were 158 staff members when NOTW closed,” says Brooks in her estimation of figures from 2000-2003
Brooks says she could work out how many freelancers and shift workers from seeing the “casuals budget” from NOTW.
Brooks is now explaining to the jury at Court 12 the huge amount of casual work coming in at sports.
“I think we had to bring in 30,” people Brooks estimates casuals coming in Saturdays to work on Sport.
Brooks says NOTW Pictures had picture agencies around the world, freelance photographers, “great influx” from readers taking pics on phones
Brooks says her deputy Andy Coulson would take over from her “six to ten times a year”
Laidlaw asks Brooks about Stuart Kuttner‘s reputation: “You’re my seventeenth editor my dear,” he said to Brooks on her appointment
“I wouldn’t say we were ever friends. He was of a different generation and different world,” says Brooks of Stuart Kuttner
“Every year you’re given you have to fight for your budget,” says Brooks of her role as editor.
“Every year you’d have to go to head office (in NYC or LA) and pitch for headline view of why you wanted the money,” says Brooks of budgets.
“You’d leave NYC and then got told when you got back what your budget is,” says Brooks. Her budget at NOTW rose from 28 to £30m
Brooks says the responsibility of how each department was doing was “Stuart Kuttner‘s job” though problems would come to her.
“He was very respected by the CFO and Les Hinton,” says Brooks of Kuttner. “I relied on him… almost completely to manage process of money”
“On a big story would the editor give approval?” asks Saunders. “Because your the person who understand the story?” Brooks says yes.
Brooks says Kuttner was the “ombudsman” on the PCC code. “He could get involved in the editorial…”
Brooks: “Particularly after Sara’s Law, Stuart would go out and make speeches… he had lots of contacts.. would speak to Chief Constable”
Justice Saunders establishes that the managing editor still reported to the editor.
Sorry – should have explained. 10 minute break.
Justice Saunders explains the jury can’t sit on Monday
Laidlaw continues with Brooks putting “names to positions”
Brooks questioned on appointments she made as Editor
They turn ‘incumbents’ to News and Investigations at NOTW when Brooks becomes editor: “I think Miskiw had just been moved to America”
Laidlaw picks up on how “paths cross on more than one occasion” and how Brooks found herself opposite Maruchak and Miskiw when at Features
Brooks had nothing to do with Miskiw’s appointment to head of New York bureau.
“The NOTW never had a NY bureau… I made that change and brought Miskiw back almost immediately,” says Brooks of 2000
Since someone else had taken over the news desk from Miskiw, Brooks says she separated News from Investigations.
Brooks said that after at the Sun, she thought the NOTW wasn’t good at getting behind big breaking stories
“The problem with News stories is that they sometimes took months to get to fruition,” says Brooks. She wanted a more daily attitude in news
Brooks says Greg Miskiw became Head of Investigations leaving existing news editor in place.
Brooks explains the role of Mazer Mahmoud, and then says Miskiw and Taylor were split at equal rank at Investigations and News departments
“I don’t think he was particularly please to have come back from New York,” says Brooks of Miskiw. “I thought it was a waste of money”
Brooks said her relationship with Miskiw “was professional and nothing more… very different to my heads of dept and execs at the Sun”
“He was very old school,” says Brooks of Miskiw: “he’d been there forever….I really only spoke to him in course of work. Quite insular”
Brooks questioned on “Dark Arts”
“I don’t intend to mix this up with Harry Potter… and call it the dark arts department,” says Laidlaw: “But what do you say about that?”
“It’s absolutely not true,” says Brooks of dark arts allegations. “Mahmoud’s Fake Sheikh… always in the public interest. Did great work.”
Brooks then goes through some examples of NOTW investigations unit: a story of hospital throwing out dead babies with the rubbish.
Laidlaw cites another NOTW investigations unit piece 13/08/2000 “scandal of docs who sell deadly diet pills”
“Our man Maz collars crook Number 105,” NOTW headline cited of all the number of investigations that led to conviction.
“Deliberately topical?” asks Saunders of a NOTW piece shown briefly to jury.
Another NOTW story cited “Air Farce One” and alleged breach of security in 2000.
11/03/01 another Mazer Mahmoud investigation story from NOTW about a crack den being shut down – after the investigations unit disbanded
“It was clear it wasn’t working,” says Brooks of separation of Investigations Unit from News in 2001. “Better that they all worked together”
“Example of NOTW people working on the same story and not talking about it,” Brooks said of split of News and Investigations.
Brooks questioned on Phone Hacking
Brooks denies any allegation the investigations unit was set up as a phone hacking operation: “Just not true”
Laidlaw talking about Miskiw and Thurlbeck tasking Mulcaire during Brooks’ editorship. She thinks she met Thurlbeck before in 90s.
Brooks thinks Thurlbeck was on news desk by the time she became NOTW deputy. He Senior or Chief reporter when she returned in 2000
“He reported into Greg,” says Brooks of Thurlbeck: “I think he may have stood in for Greg when he was away.”
Brooks says there was no outside relationship between her and Thurlbeck. She may have socialised annually for Christmas parties.
Brooks says she thinks Thurlbeck was “facing a trial” when she became editor, and not actively working for the news desk.
Laidlaw now asks Brooks about Clive Goodman at NOTW when she became editor: “it seems to me Clive has always been Royal Editor”
“As Royal Editor he would naturally be reporting to the News editor,” says Brooks of Clive Goodman.
Laidlaw now addresses the production cycle of a Sunday newspaper: for most people the working week began on the Tuesday.
“Tuesday was a very painful day,” says Brooks of NOTW “stories would rarely last the week. You could get a lot of the back of the book done”
“The production cycle of Sun and NOTW changed a lot in my 10 years as a national news editor,” says Brooks of technological changes
Brooks explains the complexity of the back of the book tallying with the leads. In the old days “some of those would have to be sent Thurs”
Brooks explains that the deadlines for NOTW production became looser with new technology.
“Friday and Saturday were very long days,” says Brooks of NOTW production. “Lost exclusives and stories” to other papers on Saturday.
“You were setting the news agenda rather than following it,” says Brooks of NOTW. Saturday no parliament, no announcement.
Brooks explains the difficulty of doing campaigns on the Sunday paper, because “by the following Sunday the momentum has gone”
“Quite quickly into my editorship we launched the Sara’s Law campaign, and it continued throughout my editorship,” says Brooks.
“We’d need at least two sets of exclusive pictures,” says Brooks of NOTW “usually celebrity driven.”
“We were football crazy,” says Brooks of NOTW. “Probably curling today,” suggests Saunders. “If Brits were doing well we’d cover it.”
Brooks confirms she would have published 125 editions of the News of the World as editor, actually in charge of about 110.
Prompted by Laidlaw, Brooks estimates there were about 200 stories a week in the NOTW.
Brooks suggests “probably double that” of the 200 stories published in NOTW would be discussed in the week up to publication
“Sometimes it’s obvious where stories come from,” Brooks says of sources of stories. “Stories can be made up of lots of different sources”
Laidlaw asks Brooks about editorial conferences; at NOTW started at 11 am. “When I came back as editor I tried to put more in.”
Brooks says there would be representative from all the heads of department at her office during Thursday conference at NOTW.
Justice Saunders estimates about 15 present at Brooks’ Thursday conferences at NOTW.
Brooks says – of the daily list produced on Thursday NOTW conference – the more important stories put at the top of list.
Justice Saunders asks about the size of paper: Brooks explains that is defined by advertising.
Laidlaw explains what will happen tomorrow: Justice Saunders says “You can leave it as a suprise. We don’t need the advance billing.”
Back tomorrow at 10 am for more from Brooks at the #hackingtrial

Note: All the defendants deny all the charges. The trial continues.

Related Articles
Rebekah Brooks Takes The Stand At Phone Hacking Trial – The Daily Beast
The Brooks Plan B and Blair Unofficial Advisor emails
Half Time at the Phone Hacking Trial
How the Kindness of Strangers crowd funded my Hacking Trial coverage
NI legal discussions and emails released in Phone Hacking Trial

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 4 Feb
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 5 Feb
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 19 Feb

Links: The Trial So Far | Full Trial Summary | Indexed Evidence | Breaking News

3 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 20 Feb

  1. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 21 Feb | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  2. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 25 Feb | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 26 Feb | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s