Ex-Murdoch chief in court

SHE has tamed that wild mane of red hair. The former chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, yesterday appeared in a London court over charges of perverting the course of justice — with newly reshaped princess-style tresses.
The court was told that Brooks, who faces three counts of conspiring to hide evidence from the Metropolitan Police, would probably learn by the end of August whether she would also face new charges arising from Operation Weeting, the police investigation into phone hacking.
Brooks faces three charges of having conspired to pervert the course of justice by hiding material from the Metropolitan Police Service.
Her barrister, Hugo Keith, QC, said that prosecutors had been passed more Operation Weeting files relating to 11 journalists. “No one is sure whether it will result in charges one way or another,” he said.
He said any further charges would have an impact on this trial and asked that prosecutors say by the end of August whether Brooks could expect more counts. Mr Justice Fulford declined to make an order but said he encouraged the prosecution to do this if possible.
Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of News International last July, is also a former editor of The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World.
She and her husband sat in the dock with four other defendants: Cheryl Carter, Brooks’ former personal assistant; Paul Edwards, Brooks’ former chauffeur; Mark Hanna, the head of security at News International; and Daryl Jorsling, who was a security consultant for Brooks provided by News International. Brooks, 44, is charged on count one that between July 6 and July 19, 2011 she conspired with Charles Brooks, Hanna, Edwards, Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from Metropolitan police officers.
On count two she is charged with Carter of conspiring between July 6 and July 9, 2011 to permanently remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.
In the third count Brooks is charged with her husband, Hanna, Edwards and Jorsling and persons unknown of conspiring between July 15 and 19 July 19, 2011 to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from Metropolitan officers. The other five defendants face one charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice each.
Charlie Brooks faces a charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice with his wife.
All six defendants will face court again on September 26 for a plea and case management hearing. No trial date was set.

First published in The Age.