Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 21 Feb

Friday 21 February 2014

Rebekah Brooks Defence Continues on Financial Management
Brooks asked about Glen Mulcaire contract
News of the World Budgets
More detail on Glenn Mulcaire contract
Financial controls and incentives
Rebekah Brooks asked about Sources of Information
Protecting Sources
Rebekah Brooks asked about her Relationships
Brooks relationship with Ross Kemp
Brooks relationship with Andy Coulson
Meeting Charlie Brooks
Rebekah Brooks asked about the PC
PCC Code of Practice
Rebekah Brooks questioned on Sarah’s Law
Brooks explains the history of the Sarah’s Law Campaign
Brooks gives her only TV interview
Rebekah Brooks Contract and Responsibilities at News of the World
Brooks Contract with the News of the World
Contributor Payments
Brooks on Nevil Thurlbeck
Investigations at News of the World
More questions on Glen Mulcaire
Rebekah Brooks asked about the Countess of Wessex
Fake Sheikh Operation
More Aspects of Brooks Editorship
Positional Appointments
Mulcaire Confidentiality Agreement
More detail on Budgets

Rebekah Brooks Defence Continues on Financial Management
Brooks asked about Glen Mulcaire contract
The jury are back in Court 12: Rebekah Brooks is back in the witness box for a second day. Her counsel is Jonathan Laidlaw QC #hackingtrial
Laidlaw is back on the issues of finance at News of the World and crown case “as editor you ought to have known about Mulcaire’s contract”
News of the World Budgets
Laidlaw adduces the NOTW budget, seen previously, from the time of Brooks’ editorship.
Laidlaw reminds us how NI editors had to travel to New York or LA and pitch their budgets to Rupert Murdoch and News Corp executives
We’re looking at the 2000-2001 budget which runs from 1st of July. Brooks joined NOTW as editor in May.
On the editorial costs side, Brooks confirms “£23.4 million” for the NOTW budget in 2000-2001
Brooks explains that she would share control of £11.5m budget for promotions and marketing.
In all £85m was the cost to produce the News of the World in 2000-2001: forecast revenue £161m – forecast profits £30m
Brooks establishes this NOTW profit was regarded “very very highly” within News Corp
This budget includes the NOTW paper, and the Sunday magazine.
Laidlaw points to a budget column that “very frustratingly, as we’ve seen before has been blacked out” but figures £6m for news budget
These figures are not redacted, just illegible because of highlighting. Now onto 2001-2002 the second year of Brooks editorship of NOTW
The NOTW budget for 2001-2 went up to £27m: “It went up mainly because of Sarah’s Law,” says Brooks.
Revenue still £161 – editorial costs up – so the forecast profit levels for NOTW were lower than previous £30m profit in 2000-1
“I think it was a good year of profit… the NOTW was very profitable during my editorship,” says Rebekah Brooks
NOTW Budget for 2002-03: editorial costs up to £30m.
In the final year of Brooks’ editorship of NOTW the profit: “I think it was about the same” – £30m or more than 20%
Brooks says she’s never seen “financial document” that itemises costs a single month at NOTW: “I don’t think this is an editorial document”
This financial document Brooks has not seen before as editor shows the weekly payments to Mulcaire via his companies.
Laidlaw now adduces the contributor payment requests for NOTW with Mulcaire: Brooks said she never saw such a document during her editorship
Brooks is invited to look through the sorts of amounts paid out in a month at NOTW by her counsel Jonathan Laidlaw QC
“It’s many hundreds I think,” says Laidlaw of these payments. He asks Brooks if she ever reviewed contributor payments: “No,” she replies
These payments range from small amount to tens of thousands of pounds, points out Laidlaw.
“Some of the bigger figures, payments to Max Clifford, I would have been made aware of,” says Brooks.
“The smaller sums, if within the weekly spending limit, wouldn’t have come to me,” says Brooks. Saunders says ‘small’ might be misleading.
Mulcaire payments were just over a thousand pounds.
“As the editor, having negotiated the budget,” asks Laidlaw “did you have anything to do with micromanagement of that budget?” Brooks: “No”
Brooks is asked about weekly spending limits: “Stuart Kuttner had a tight rein” but might draw attention to regular overspends.
“Any breaking of the weekly spending limit would be in the managing editor’s officer…. I might be brought in in week 3” says Brooks.
Asked how much involved she would have in the weekly desk head budgets at NOTW, Brooks replies “none”
More detail on Glenn Mulcaire contract
Laidlaw now moves to the Mulcaire contract for £92k; Brooks says she knew nothing about it at the time.
Brooks says a permanent staffer’s contract for £92k would have come to her attention, and be approved by the managing director.
Brooks explains the hidden costs like PAYE for staffers would have to be allocated and so drew more attention
BREAKING: Rebekah Brooks says Glenn Mulcaire freelance contract by Greg Miskiw should have been brought to her attention but wasn’t
Brooks explains, because she arrived in May 2000 at NOTW, the 2000-01 budget had already been allocated and she wasn’t involved.
Financial controls and incentives
Brooks says she spent “maybe a couple of million” on Sarah’s law while editor at NOTW
Brooks explains about her trip to the US for pitching NOTW budget in May 2001 with a Sarah’s Law overspend.
“Everyone understood and, fortunately for me, everyone understood” says Brooks of spending on Sarah’s Law at NOTW.
“It’s like running your own business: you’ve got a pot of money and a job to do…. a great deal of autonomy” says Brooks of desk heads
Brooks says she brought in a bonus scheme for NOTW department heads – “a financial incentive to keep within weekly spending limits”
Brooks now addresses how big “buy ups” were budgeted.
Brooks talks about the buy up of David Beckham’s biography by NOTW in 2000. “He had two goes at an autobiography…one when I was at the Sn”
“The second book was by Harper Collins, also part of the organisation… I think about a million pounds,” says Brooks of Beckham biography
Brooks thinks the Beckham deal also included a column.
Another NOTW buy up explored in #hackingtrial are some exclusive pictures of Madonna. £20k a picture.
Third big NOTW buy concerns a Siamese twin over first 5 pages of NOTW: “I think this was a Max Clifford situation,” says Brooks.
“I remember it being Max because it was always expensive…. 50 or 60 a one off payment,” says Brooks of Siamese Twins NOTW splash.
Brooks explains how these buy up costs are managed: “I often dealt with Max Clifford myself, so I might have negotiated directly with him”
BROOKS: “If it had gone over my £50k limit – it might have been 40 to parents and 10 to Max – I’d probably mention it in a phonecall to Les”
“It was in the early days of Big Brother – there would be this bidding situation going on literally at the TV studios to get Nasty Nick”
Brooks explains more about immediacy of bidding on a breaking story.
“That might have been the rules, but it didn’t really work that way in the newsroom. Les understood value of story in a way mgr eds wouldn’t
Brooks explaining in last tweet why approval would be sought from Les Hinton rather than managing director.
Brooks explains the managing editors separate budget and contingency reserves at NOTW.
Rebekah Brooks asked about Sources of Information
Protecting Sources
Laidlaw now asks about “sources and protection of sources” and the editor’s knowledge of them.
Brooks: “Journalists are very protective of their confidential sources… journalists duty to protect sources, and article ten of ECHR”
Not all sources were secret, says Brooks: “I spoke of Max Clifford situation.. Some football agents were known to be chatty, shall we say?”
“On a big story, you would be interrogating more,” says Brooks of journalists sources when she was editor of NOTW.
Justice Saunders intervenes as Brooks explains production: “I think we’re talking about what checks you’d have to do if a big story came in”
Laidlaw asks Brooks more about Glenn Mulcaire
“Can I ask you about that category of individual,” says Laidlaw on Private investigators at NOTW.
“It was quite normal to have private detectives working on the paper,” says Brooks.
“They would be helping the main tracing people,” says Brooks of private investigators at NOTW.
Brooks: “I remember we had to use a number of private detectives during Sarah’s Law…. very difficult to trace convicted paedophiles.”
Brooks says she wouldn’t know about desk head arrangements for private detectives.
Rebekah Brooks asked about her Relationships
Brooks relationship with Ross Kemp
Laidlaw says “I want to deal with the relationship with Andy Coulson
First Laidlaw wants to talk about Ross Kemp: “We met in the autumn of 1995,” says Brooks. They became engaged in 1996
“We’re going to hear this wasn’t the easiest of relationships,” says Laidlaw. They split up in 1997 but got back together in 1998
“We started speaking again at my 30th birthday,” says Brooks of Ross Kemp: “It was a slow process”. They’d been engaged before bust up
By 2001 Brooks says her relationship was “pretty good” and they discussed buying a house and getting married.
As Laidlaw gets onto the subject of children, Brooks asks for a break.
Back after a break at the #hackingtrial with Brooks back in the witness box.
Brooks had looked tearful just before the break. Her counsel Laidlaw continues with questions about Ross Kemp
In mid 2001, there was a scare with Brooks in hospital and the starting of fertility tests. By April 2002 – she and Ross planned marriage
“I think I started original fertility tests in mid 2001 and continued to mid 2002,” says Brooks
By the time Brooks became editor of NOTW she was married to Kemp: “we were both working long hours in different industries.”
The war in Iraq began in 2003. Brooks moved into a hotel next to Wapping to live. Brooks stopped any fertility tests; “life was put on hold”
Laidlaw talks about the public breakdown of the relationship between Kemp and Brooks in 2005
“I’m sure if Ross was here he’d agree, our whole relationship was rollercoaster,” says Brooks. Still friends “He’s happier than ever been”
Brooks relationship with Andy Coulson
Brooks explains she didn’t work with Coulson till 1998. But a friend of Coulson’s, Christopher Blythe worked on NOTW and died in 1995
Brooks first met Coulson in 1995. In 1996 they became good friends. “It wasn’t until 1998 Andy and I became close” says Brooks
Brooks agrees that she was “intimate” again with Coulson 2003-2005. A further brief period in 2006
Laidlaw adduces the love letter: he doesn’t plan to read any of it out. “Mr Edis has drawn upon a particular passage” Jury have seen all
Metadata suggests letter was written February 2004.
“I seem to remember sometimes I would write things down to myself” says Brooks of the letter.
“In a time of hurt, after a few glasses of wine, you shouldn’t get on the computer,” says Brooks. In the morning she thought better of it
BREAKING: Brooks says she didn’t have a six year affair with Coulson; “It’s not true..”
Brooks says the six year period refers back to 1998. “I’ve read it a lot… since I knew this was to be used in evidence”
Brooks says the 1998 refers back to when they she and Coulson were “close”. Laidlaw says he’s cited when “there was intimacy upon you”
Brooks talks about the impact on their friendship: “Any affair by its nature is dysfunctional… it added complexity to our friendship”
Meeting Charlie Brooks
Brooks says she met Charlie Brooks in March 2007.
“Anyone now knows my personal life has been a car crash for many years… probably easy to blame my work,” says Brooks.
“Ross is great man, but the two of us weren’t meant to be”. When Brooks met Charlie “I was happy for the first time.”
“When Charlie and I first met, we knew quite quickly we wanted to be together… I told him of failed fertility trials,” says Brooks.
Brooks told Charlie that if he wanted kids she wasn’t the right person. Charlie said let’s try anyway.
A personal friend was a fertility doctor who explained to Charlie “what the issues were… after IVF, surrogacy was suggested” says Brooks
Brooks explains how her and Charlie: “It was a big thing to do. My mother was out shopping in Warrington one day, bumped into my cousin”
Brooks’s mother told cousin they were abandoning attempts to children. The cousin said “I’ll do it” and was the surrogate
Rebekah Brooks asked about the PC
PCC Code of Practice
Laidlaw now moves on to the PCC code of practice.
Brooks explains how PCC was incorporated into their contracts as journalists at News International
Brooks speaks about the Calcutt Report on press excesses and creation of PCC and creation of new code of standards.
Laidlaw goes through PCC code: accuracy, right to reply, privacy, harassment, intrusion in grief, children, child sex abuse, bugs, voicemail
Laidlaw reads the ‘public interest’ clause which explains exceptions to previous restrictions. “Preventing the public from being misled”
Brooks tells jury at #hackingtrial that PCC code “was central… it’s press self regulation. Perfectly good clauses.”
“The best way of thinking of the code is the alternative to self regulation – i.e. more laws on things like privacy” says Brooks of PCC code
“Les Hinton, my boss, he was very involved in the code. I think he was chairman of editors code committee,” says Brooks.
Rebekah Brooks questioned on Sarah’s Law
Brooks explains the history of the Sarah’s Law Campaign
Laidlaw now moves onto Sarah’s Law.
Laidlaw produces an entire bundle on Sarah’s Law. Laidlaw wants a “brief chronology”
Sarah Payne went missing 01/07/00
“At the time Sarah went missing it was a major story,” says Brooks. “The parents of Sarah Payne had been on holiday”
“One of my reporters Rob Kellaway was down there… I asked if I could go and see Mike and Sara (Payne) myself,” says Brooks.
Brooks explains about Roy Whiting, a convicted sex offender living in community with grandparents of missing girl Sarah Payne
Whiting had been interviewed under caution because his last crime was the abduction of a 8 year old.
“The point was, he was let go… he was interviewed and released” says Brooks. Roy Whiting arrested in early July 2000 but released
Brooks talks about meeting the family liaison officers when she met Mike and Sara Payne: “we think we know who it is,” they told Brooks
“I was really surprised,” says Brooks of discovering released of sex offenders. She discovered American “Megan’s Law” introduced by Clinton
Saunders cuts Brooks short on the various implementations of Megan’s Law in the US.
“We’re talking about a hands on editor, that’s how we came up with Sarah’s Law,” says Brooks.
Brooks talks about the 1997 Sex Offenders Act with “huge loopholes” because of change from Tory to Labour Government.
Brooks explains how a sex offender could leave prison without registering for 72 hrs.
Brooks says “I’m very supportive…. Sara’s a good friend” of Sarah Payne’s mother.
“We did make some mistakes,” says Brooks of Sarah’s Law campaign. “We looked at a vigilante response to giving public information”
“The main campaign criticism was that providing photos of sex offenders could lead to vigilantism,” says Brooks. “Were some incidents”
“I actually didn’t tell Rupert Murdoch or Les Hinton until very late” says Brooks of Sarah’s Law.
Murdoch and Hinton “were supportive of the campaign but critical of me for not flagging it up earlier”
Brooks says Home Secretary Jack Straw wanted to the campaign to stop. She also relates the riot in Portsmouth.
“The criticism people had then actually happened in Pauls Grove,” says Brooks of riot few weeks after after Sarah’s Law campaign
Brooks explains how a teacher was “wrongly included in gallery of predatory paedophile”
“Tracing agents throughout the country were being used,” says Brooks of naming and shaming sex offenders.
Brooks explains how Stuart Kuttner became a “spokesman for Sarah’s Law… he took a particular interest.”
“We used some old office space at Wapping to turn into a campaign centre… paedophilia hadn’t really been a mainstream issue,” says Brooks
Brooks talks of the public reaction: volumes of letter to NOTW “Cheryl took a lot of time opening those letter and got quite upset”
“That’s where the costs came in. We had 2 millions badges made. And 1.7 million filling a petition,” says Brooks of Sarah’s Law costs.
“In first three weeks of campaign we got 11 changes to sex offenders law,” but Brooks says Sarah’s Law only finally in place 11 yrs later
Laidlaw takes the jury through the various NOTW editions concerned with Sarah’s Law.
30/07/00 NOTW launches Sarah’s Law petition. 300,000 signatures in first day of campaign the article states.
“Andy and I wrote this particular one,” Brooks says of a NOTW editorial.
Brooks explains how she sat down with police and politicians about the “naming and shaming'” campaign at NOTW.
“Not all judges” jokes Brooks back to Justice Saunders about her hard hitting criticism of judges in NOTW editorial
Brooks called Murdoch because Sarah’s Law was an occasion where she had to be more public and “write a personal piece”
We’ve now moved on to 20th August 2000 NOTW Sarah’s Campaign: Brooks talks about “highly unusual” to get support of Mail and Mirror
Laidlaw moves on to an article “following Sarah’s funeral”
“Sir John Stevens was very helpful during this campaign, writing for us,” says Brooks of NOTW Sarah’s Law Campaign.
05/11/00 More on US Megan’s law. More “pressure on Jack Straw” says Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks.
Now midway through bundle with Christmas Eve edition of NOTW focusing on Sarah Payne’s family
10/06/01 Blunkett is now Home Secretary. Another NOTW edition on anniversary of Sarah Payne’s disappearance.
Laidlaw is now onto late December 2001 edition of NOTW where paper returned to naming and shaming paedophiles on front page.
Brooks: “The police, for want of a better word, had lost some paedophiles in the community…. they asked us to do what we’d done earlier”
Justice Saunders points out of this new naming and shaming: “Presumably this was for the purpose of arresting them for what they’d done”
Brooks gives her only TV interview
Brooks says she was “allowed” to do one TV interview on David Frost show on 16/12/01: “My first and last”
Brooks says she discussed the TV appearance “with Rupert”. By 12/12/01 Whiting had been convicted of Sarah Payne’s murder.
Laidlaw establishes that for Brooks “this is the only interview you’ve ever done?” “Yes”
We’re now on pages 71 and 72 of the bundle on Sarah’s Law.
Last page – just a selection – ends in December 2002. Laidlaw apologise for “travelling through this so quickly”
Justice Saunders how long the special office in Wapping and dedication of lots of staff went on. Brooks says they changed masthead.
“It continued by calmed down,” says Brooks of active campaign. “It wound down by end of 2001.”
Rebekah Brooks Contract and Responsibilities at News of the World
Brooks Contract with the News of the World
07/06/00 article cited about Greg Miskiw’s return from US. Now onto Brooks’ contract from 18/08/00 some months after she became NOTW editor
“I was too busy to sign it,” says Brooks of NOTW contract. “It was all very quick,” she says of becoming editor.
“When I was told I was going to be made editor of the Sun it was 5.30 in the morning before I took over,” says Brooks of career decisions
Contributor Payments
Laidlaw goes through NOTW Brooks contract and editorial power, “agreeing rate for contributions”
Laidlaw goes back to Contributor Payment Records (CPRs) – all have to go through managing editor’s office.
“Those documents I’ve seen only through the progress of this case, those CPR documents… it was a malleable process,” says Brooks.
“Probably very little since they were all through the managing editor’s office,” says Brooks of sight of payments to contributors.
“I knew the costs… holding the summits… the picture budgets, but no involvement in CPR system at all,” says Brooks.
“There wasn’t an actual board at News International at all,” says Brooks of contract clause which refers to it.
Justice Saunders points out the board referred to “is the board of News Group Newspapers”
Laidlaw goes through the other clauses in the contract on accuracy, libel, acting on instructions of board.
“We’re doing our best to keep this in chronological order” says Laidlaw. 22/07/00 email from Kuttner asking for £1000 plus items.
Brooks thinks the Kuttner email was about £1k for any complete story or article. “It was a way of Stuart getting a snapshot of payments.”
Sept 2000 email cited from Kuttner to Greg Miskiw, who heads up investigations desk, cc’ed to Brooks and Coulson, about overspend
Brooks explains why Kuttner email about Miskiw copied to her: “this would be him alerting me to this overspend.”
Break for lunch at #hackingtrial
Back with Rebekah Brooks at #hackingtrial: last afternoon this week in the witness box: she’s expected to be there for the next two weeks.
Brooks on Nevil Thurlbeck
Laidlaw goes through a series of emails concerned with Neville Thurlbeck.
13/09/00 email from Brooks “I need to promote Neville” – discussion of salary levels etc. Kuttner replies “I’ll do a letter.”
15/09/00 Clive Milner, managing director of NGN, replies to the email chain. On finance and marketing, Brooks reported to Milner.
Brooks talks about an £11 million TV marketing campaign for News of the World jointly approved with Milner.
Milner’s email on Thurlbeck’s salary increase says “No”
Kuttner forwards Milner’s response. 15/09/00 Brooks replies about Thurlbeck increase “must do this…. he battled through a trial”
Another email cited involving Thurlbeck and Miskiw about salary rise denied: Brooks explains Thurlbeck was Chief Crime Reporter then
Brooks’ reaction to Thurlbeck being told: “I talked about Neville with Les… we have a duty to protect this man”
“I’m always on email and mobile so why did this happen?,” says Brooks who was out of office when Thurlbeck was told no salary rise
Thurlbeck was acquitted by September 2000: Brooks says “the whole process had taken two years…. Les Hinton briefed me…”
Brooks explains background to Thurlbeck’s arrest, trial and acquittal. She moved him away from Crime Correspondence to investigations.
Brooks explains she was at the Labour Party Conference during this email chain in September 2000: “I was only in Bournemouth”
Another email talks about keeping Jules Stenson aswell as Thurlbeck “two self generating journalists” Brook was aware of poaching.
Justice Saunders establishes Brooks “won her battle with Mr Milner” over pay rises for Thurlbeck and Stenson.
Investigations at News of the World
Laidlaw goes through a NOTW story on medical malpractice circa 27/10/00 adduced by prosecution as example of Brooks’ involvement in a story
22/10/00 NOTW article shown to the jury: a Mazer Mahmoud byline from investigations department. Laidlaw asks Brooks about her involvement
“Undercover work would have been needed, going back to the PCC code… no fishing exercise,” says Brooks explaining her involvement
“I would have interrogated this story before publication, and told the reader’s reaction,” explains Brooks of the story, which involved GMC
An email from Judy Macguire editor of the magazine in October 2000, to Brooks and Coulson, proposing a £2002 saving re ‘Spartacus’
‘Spartacus’ was the code name for revamping the Sunday NOTW magazine, to marry magazine with the listings.
Brooks explains the huge cost of a colour magazine running at least 4.5 million copies.
January 2001 NOTW conference email adduced by prosecution revisited by Jonathan Laidlaw QC: £500 limit for heads of department
“We took the team out of the News of the World… for a think tank. That’s what this document is about,” explains Brooks of document
Laidlaw takes the jury through minutes of what was discussed at NOTW brainstorming meeting
Brooks isn’t sure about the “£500 limit on heads of department” – she’s “pretty sure” this idea wasn’t implemented.
More questions on Glen Mulcaire
Brooks says she’s never seen a Mulcaire invoice – this one before the jury from 04/01/01 with various targets named.
“Had you seen it, what would you interpreted it as relating to,” asks Laidlaw. “I’d probably seen it as relating to a private detective.”
The invoice says “paedo…paedo…”: Brooks says “I would assume it was tracing paedophiles.”
Brooks says the Mulcaire wouldn’t particularly given rise to anxiety – except for the “binology” reference – Benji the Bin Man
Brooks explains how Benji the Bin man would go through the bins of lawyers and high profile people. “I would have asked what the story for”
An “obs” part of the Mulcaire invoice probably “relates to observation” says Brooks
Brooks talks about tracing paedophiles with PIs – through sentencing reports, exclusion orders, electoral roll
25/01/01 email from Mears in Finance to heads of desks and departments, copied into Kuttner and Brooks.
CORRECTION: that document wasn’t copied into Brooks. She provides some context though.
This Steve Mears email is about preparing for the next budget round in 2001
01/03/00 email from Brooks to Paul Nicholas, chief sub, night editor dep, head of pictures cited by Laidlaw, cc’ed to Andy Coulson
Again this, says Laidlaw, is about the extent of detail Brooks was involved in on a NOTW story on a Thursday: “yes, it was my job”
“I wouldn’t do it every day,” says Brooks of email detail. “I would be sat on the back bench on a Saturday…. but I put a lot on email”
23/01/01 email from Judy MaGuire over a sub – seeking Brooks’ permission for modest salary increase for sub of £2,200
More emails cited from production day on NOTW – Harry Scott offering Brooks a choice of splashes on 03/03/01
“For those not reading the document the mind must boggle,” jokes Justice Saunders of some NOTW headline involving the Pope.
Another Brooks email talks about “changes and matches” – she explains how this was a response to rival Sundays after first edition of NOTW
“Mr Murdoch used to call on a Saturday night,” says Brooks of “changes and matches” to second edition of NOTW.
Brooks email to Phil Taylor, cc’ed to Coulson, referencing Clive Goodman cited by Laidlaw
Rebekah Brooks asked about the Countess of Wessex
Fake Sheikh Operation
“Sophie Wessex next” says Laidlaw. Seven or eight pages on that topic from the prosecution. Brooks asked to explain background.
“A former employee of Countess of Wessex PR company had come forward through Max Clifford… had offered access to the Royals,” says Brooks
Brooks: “Though he was a former employee and therefore ‘disgruntled’ he did have some evidence. Mazer Mahmoud did a ‘Fake Sheikh operation”
“It would have taken a long time…. and it would be very expensive. Maz would have a penthouse and Bentley. Maz always said necessary”
Brooks explains the undercover set up, as Mahmoud claimed to be from a golf company and approached Countess of Wessex’s PR company
“I believed it was in the public interest to see if the Countess of Wessex was selling access to the Royal Family,” says Brooks of operation
“I don’t think that Maz’s evidence… proved the case against the Countess of Essex,” says Brooks. “Though it did against her biz partner”
“I ring the palace to explain,” says Brooks; “I was umming and ahhing about running the story against business partner.”
BREAKING: Brooks claims she got an interview with Countess of Essex by NOT running a NOTW story about her business partner.
“It was a big scoop,” says Brooks of getting the Countess of Wessex exclusive interview.
Brooks explains Countess of Wessex realised “she had been horribly indiscreet to… the wealthy Sheikh… she wrote to everyone apologising”
“She was particularly mean about Tony and Cherie Blair,” says Brooks. The apologising letters “leaked out” and was “far worse” than reality
“It became another justification for running the story,” says Brooks of eventually running the Countess of Wessex story the next week.
Ha yes typo “Countess of WESSEX” all other tweets in that stream should clarify @IkonPictures
“I’m assuming someone from the Mail leaked this story to the Mail on Sunday,” says Brooks of story running in rival Sunday paper
Jury is shown Daily Mirror coverage on the following Monday.
“By now it’s what she’s alleged to have said, which is more interesting,” says daily tabloids picking up on MoS allegations of Sophie tapes
“What Sophie really Said” is then run in the NOTW following Sunday using the taped Fake Sheikh interviews shown to jury
Jury shown related NOTW internal emails from the period – with quotes from Sophie tapes. Brooks asks Coulson to rewrite.
Emails show a “well done’ and “bonus cheques” for the Sophie Wessex story. Defence has introduced a new document here.
Jury shown new Brooks email cc’ed to Coulson and Kuttner, but addressed to Greg Miskiw
“We have to learn some lessons from Sophie,” says Brooks in email; “all entrapment and subterfuge has to be justified 110%”
Brooks explains this email to Miskiw warning about legality and PCC code came after a statement from the Queen about Sophie coverage
Brooks says there were many “inaccuracies in other papers, particularly the Telegraph” over NOTW Fake Sheikh Sophie sting.
“We needed to keep a high standard in order to hit back when people said these things,” says Brooks of email on keep high standards.
Back after break at #hackingtrial. About another hour to go with Brooks in the witness box.
Court 12 will continue with her evidence on Tuesday next week.
More Aspects of Brooks Editorship
Positional Appointments
April 2001 and the re-amalgamation of News and Investigations: email from Brooks to Goodman “Can you put ideas together for a diary”
Brooks explains how Goodman was about to start a Carvery diary a bit like Nigel Dempster in the Daily Mail; “might have been Andy’s idea”
“Andy had edited the Bizarre section of the Sun and he was put in charge of this,” says Brooks of Goodman’s Carvery Diary
Brooks email talks of moving Miskiw to the Manchester office, and investigations unit disbanded. Thurlbeck to dep ed news editor.
“Goodman to diary… Maz back to News,” this email, Brooks corrects, is from Kuttner to her. It’s a budget discussion to come in July
Kuttner emails heads of departments and desks, copying in Brooks and Coulson over the issue of budgets for 2001-2002
05/06/01 Brooks emails Greg Miskiw and makes him deputy head of amalgamated department of News and Investigations.
Mulcaire Confidentiality Agreement
16/06/01 jury shown again a confidentiality agreement for Mulcaire under a false name signed off by Greg Miskiw.
The email is copied to Rebekah Brooks in 2001 – but she was Rebekah Wade at the time.
Edis explains it is ‘naming anomaly because the system updated itself when Mrs Brooks changed her name… doesn’t mean anything.”
Though the document was copied to Brooks, she says she was unaware of the confidentiality agreement with ‘Williams’ AKA Mulcaire.
Brooks explains how there were templates for confidentiality agreements like this.
Laidlaw summarises another prosecution document: Bob Bird, editor of Scottish NOTW, writing to Brooks “see if you’re being unfair on her”
“It’s probably all about the code,” says Brooks of this Bob Bird story about a ‘spent conviction” and PI defence under rehabilitation.
“I’m mentioning Guy Black here,” says Brooks of her email: “He was the head of the PCC”.
More detail on Budgets
Another email from Brooks to senior staff at NOTW over budget plans and individual pots of money and autonomy for desks.
The email sets out the weekly limits to NOTW departments and the bonus cheques for head of departments for keeping in budgets.
That email was early June 2001. Kuttner recirculates that document in late June 2001.
Jury shown another Mulcaire contract for £7k for projects “Emily and Alex”: Brooks says names for Thompson and Venables
“I don’t think so,” says Brooks of this other Mulcaire contract. “It’s expensive… but not unusual,” she observes.
“It would have come to me…. if he couldn’t afford it within his weekly spending limit,” says Brooks: “It should have come to me”
16/06/01 Miskiw sends Brooks an email “I understand Bulger is going to make a page, we’re committed to paying 7.5 grand for the story”
“Whatever Bulger story has come in…. I’ve discovered it’s worth a page lede…. Greg has discovered this,” explains Brooks of Miskiw email
“I don’t know if it was possible in 2001… but you could see from top which page it has been allocated to,” explains Brooks about page lead
“7,500 is quite expensive for a page lede way back,” says Brooks. She replies to Miskiw in email: “Then I hope you can afford it.”
“If you are over you won’t be paid,” says Brooks in email to Miskiw about weekly budget and expensive Bulger story in NOTW.
Brooks says she didn’t know that this Bulger story came from Mulcaire. Discussion of the source “might have been” topic of conversation.
Brooks talks about a growing £4 million overspend in 2001.
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t know the name of Glenn Mulcaire until he was arrested,” says Brooks: “Or the name Paul Williams.”
Email from Brooks to Kuttner: “Do we pay John Ross in cash?” Brooks says she thinks he was a former crime editor who had story in paper.
Kuttner email talks about “generally trying to resist” cash payments. Brooks replies “sure”
Brooks to Kuttner to send Miskiw a letter “not while on maternity… he paid 7.5k for Bulger when everyone else had it… It’s madness.”
This “It’s Madness” email about Miskiw payment over Bulger from the following Saturday: Brooks “a non exclusive story… it’s ridiculous”
Brooks email also complains about non exclusive John Ross story costs.
“It’s quite late in the day on Saturday to find out,” says Brooks of these payments for page ledes/leads
Brooks to Miskiw, copied to Kuttner and Coulson: “for time being you’ll have to authorise any payment over 1k with me, Stuart or Andy”
Brooks replies “the palmy days are over” and things are “unbelievably tough” in reply over costs of Bulger story.
Brooks explains how it had been made clear to her “we couldn’t go a penny over budget” and how they might split a big payment over depts
“A sprint to the end,” suggests Justice Saunders of the weekly spending limits sheet Laidlaw proposes to go through.
£18k is allocated per week for “contributors”: “it’s a guide to where things usually end up,” says Brooks.
NOTW News and Investigations, Miskiw’s dept, was allocated £46k per week – and £25k for outside contributors and expenses per week
This £46k per week for dept is the variable costs for casual labour, expenses, CPRs: the fixed costs for salaried staff elsewhere in budget.
Brooks explains remaining Investigations budget: “the running of the Fake Sheikh was very expensive” so a separate item
“Captain Cash” column explained: readers could write in asking for cash. “People would write in silly requests… or desperate needy”
Laidlaw rattles through other items including Scottish and Irish “score”
“Mr Mahmoud is he still in operation,” asks Saunders. “Should we be looking for a Fake Sheikh somewhere?” Brooks says yes.
Back Tuesday 10.00 am

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

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Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 5 Feb
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 19 Feb
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 20 Feb

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

4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 21 Feb

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

  2. The background on Sophie Wessex was most helpful; thank you.
    The agreements and budgets showed how things were done on News of the World in 1998-2001.

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

  4. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 27 Feb | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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