Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks in court over charges linked to alleged corrupt payments to public officials

 

David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks appeared in court today to face charges linked to alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

Brooks, 44, appeared first, along with former Sun chief reporter John Kay, 69, and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan-Barber, 39.

They spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses during the short hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Wearing a black jacket and tan trousers, Brooks sat next to Kay, who was in a grey suit with a white shirt and blue tie.

Jordan-Barber, who is from Shrivenham near Swindon, sat apart from the pair in the dock. She was wearing a black dress and pink shirt.

It is alleged that Brooks, from Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Kay, from north west London, conspired to pay Jordan-Barber around £100,000 for information.

The three each face one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between January 1 2004 and January 31 this year.

That relates to allegations that Jordan-Barber, 39, was paid to provide information to the Sun newspaper.

They were all released on unconditional bail until they next appear at Southwark Crown Court on December 6.

Coulson and ex-News of the World (NOTW) royal correspondent Clive Goodman appeared afterwards.

They are charged with conspiracy to pay for information including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".

It contained contact details for the Royal Family and members of their households.

Coulson, 44, from Kent, and Goodman, 55, from Surrey, face two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office - one between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and the other between January 31 and June 3 2005.

They relate to the alleged request and authorisation of payments to public officials in exchange for information, including the royal contacts book.

Coulson, who wore a grey suit, white shirt and blue tie, and Goodman, who was in a dark suit with a blue shirt and purple tie, were both released on unconditional bail until the same date as the other three defendants.

PA

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