Two of Britain’s best known journalists are on trial today over phone-hacking carried out by one of the country’s most popular newspapers.
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both former editors of the now defunct News of the World tabloid, are accused of conspiring to illegally access voicemail messages on mobile phones belonging to politicians, celebrities and ordinary people to secure exclusives.
Coulson and Brooks both face charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office while Coulson is additionally accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Dozens of other journalists are due to go on trial next year following the conclusion of this case, while police are also actively considering bringing corporate charges against Murdoch’s British newspaper business.
The pair, who deny all charges, had close ties to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron who responded by ordering a year-long public inquiry into newspaper ethics.
The subsequent Leveson inquiry sent shockwaves through Britain’s establishment as it exposed allegations of corrupt practices in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire.
The industry is still at loggerheads with the government over how it should be regulated.