Rebekah Brooks appears in Court over phone hacking scandal

Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks appears in court

The BBC’s Tom Symonds: “She’s not allowed to talk to the other defendants; she has to give seven days’ notice of travelling”

3 September 2012 Last updated at 11:37

Former News International boss Rebekah Brooks has appeared in court to face charges related to phone hacking.

Mrs Brooks, 44, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier, accused of a conspiracy to illegally access voicemails.

She faces a general charge, and two other specific charges linked to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and former union boss Andrew Gilchrist.

Mrs Brooks denies the charges.

She is accused of conspiring with others to intercept voicemail messages between 2000 and 2006.

Prosecutors claim this general charge could affect more than 600 victims.

Mrs Brooks is also accused of conspiring to hack the mobile phone messages of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old schoolgirl who disappeared in 2002 and was later found murdered – and Mr Gilchrist, a former fire brigade trade union leader.

Seven other reporters and editors from the now-defunct News of the World have already appeared to face similar charges, including former Downing Street press director Andy Coulson.

Those charged appeared in court earlier this month and are next due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 26 September.

During Monday’s brief hearing before District Judge Howard Riddle, the former News International chief executive – wearing a dark jacket and skirt – was told she would also appear at the court on that date with the others accused.

Mrs Brooks, from Churchill, Oxfordshire, spoke to confirm her address and date of birth.

She was released on bail on the condition that she lives at her given address, does not contact her fellow accused and gives the police seven days’ notice should she wish to travel abroad.

There was a large media presence outside court. However, she did not speak to journalists.

News International’s former legal adviser, Tom Crone, 60, was arrested last week by police investigating phone hacking.

He has been bailed until October.

The phone-hacking allegations led to the closure of the News of the World in July 2011 and the setting up of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics.

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