9 September: trial date set for Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks

 

The trail of News International's former chief executive Rebekah Brooks, her husband Charles, the former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief, Andy Coulson, and others linked to an alleged illegal phone hacking conspiracy, will begin on 9 September.

Mrs Brooks, a former editor of the Sun who was promoted to run Rupert Murdoch's UK print business till shortly after the closure of the NOTW, will appear with eight others in the first of a series of related trials.

The initial trial will be held at the Old Bailey and is expected to last at least three months, with the other trails potentially reaching into April next year.

The trial date was given at South Crown Court and ordered by the judge who will hear all the hacking-related trials, Mr Justice Saunders.

Mrs Brooks, 45, appeared in the Southwark court earlier this week where she pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges that involved conspiracy to illegally intercept phone messages, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Her former personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, who is also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, is among those who will appear in the first trail.

Mr Brooks, a race horse trainer and close friend of Prime Minister, David Cameron, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

He is jointly accused, along with his wife, and News International's head of security, Mark Hanna, of concealing documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and Sun newspapers.

Mr Hanna has also denied the charge against him.

Mrs Carter is jointly charged with Mrs Brooks of removing seven boxes of archived material from News International between July 6, 2011 and July 9, 2001. Both pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.

On Mr Murdoch's orders the closure of the News of the World took place on July 10, 2011.

Those who will appear in the trial beginning in September also include the NOTW's former managing editor, Stuart Kuttner, 73, the Sunday tabloid's former senior reporter, James Weatherup, 57, and the paper's former news editor, Ian Edmondson, 44.

Earlier this week when charges against them were read out in court, all pleaded not guilty.

The phone hacking conspiracy charges related to a time period between October 2000 and August 2006.

The private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, 42, will also appear in the initial trial. He is charged with illegally hacking the mobile phone messages belonging to Amanda Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl also known as Milly, who went missing and was later found dead in 2002.

Two further counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office - one between January 2004 and January 2012, and another alleged to have taken place between February 2006 and October 2008 - were also denied by Mrs Brooks.

All defendants in the trials have been granted an extension of the bail conditions that have been in place since their arrest.

Further pre-trial hearings were also scheduled for July by the judge.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn