Three former news editors from the News of the World have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hack mobile phones during a six-year period when Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were editing the Sunday title, it was disclosed in court.
The two high-flying tabloid journalists were accused of knowing about voicemail interception at the newspaper, of plotting to pay money to corrupt public officials – and, in the case of Brooks, participating in “a cover-up” when concerns about hacking became public in 2011.
Opening the Old Bailey trial of Brooks, Coulson and six others, crown counsel Andrew Edis QC said the guilty pleas meant that the original claim made by the tabloid’s publisher, News International, that the hacking was the work of just one reporter, Clive Goodman, was demonstrably incorrect.
The three former News of the World news editors who had pleaded guilty to the interception of voicemails were Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup. Edis told the jury that the paper’s specialist hacker, Glenn Mulcaire, had separately admitted intercepting the messages of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
And so it begins.