Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was found not guilty of all charges in Britain’s landmark phone-hacking trial while former colleague Andy Coulson was guilty of one charge on Tuesday.
The jury delivered their verdicts after eight days of deliberations at the end of the marathon trial sparked by the scandal that led to the closure of the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid in July 2011.
The Telegraph reports:
Coulson, who edited the News of the World before becoming Prime Minister David Cameron’s official spokesman, now faces prison after the jury returned a guilty verdict in dramatic scenes at the Old Bailey.
But Mrs Brooks, who edited The Sun and the News of the World, before promotion to News International chief executive was exonerated after being cleared of conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to corrupt public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The verdicts represent only a partial victory for the police and prosecutors, who have spent three years and tens of millions of pounds attempting to bring those responsible for the phone hacking scandal to justice.
Mrs Brooks had always denied any knowledge of illegal activities at the Sun and the News of the World and after a seven month trial the jury accepted her version of events.
The trial, which has been one of the longest and most expensive in British criminal history, heard allegations of how journalists working at the News of the World and The Sun, under the stewardship of Mrs Brooks and Coulson, routinely broke the law in pursuit of exclusive stories.
Jurors were told how reporters at the News of the World hacked hundreds of public and private figures, including celebrities, politicians and even victims of crime.
AFP contributed to this report