Brooks faces phone hacking charges

Blackpool Citizen: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has appeared in court to face charges linked to alleged phone hacking.

The 44-year-old was at Westminster Magistrates' Court accused over an alleged conspiracy to illegally access voicemails.

Brooks appeared in the dock to face one general charge, which prosecutors claim could affect more than 600 victims, and two other specific charges linked to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and former union boss Andrew Gilchrist.

She has been accused alongside six other former members of staff from the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World (NoTW) and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Former NoTW editor, and ex-spin doctor for David Cameron, Andy Coulson has been charged, along with ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup.

Brooks, wearing a navy blue jacket and skirt, spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and address during the short hearing. She was told to appear with her co-defendants at Southwark Crown Court on September 26.

Brooks, from Churchill, in Oxfordshire, was released on bail on the condition that she lives at her given address, does not contact her fellow accused and gives the police seven days' notice should she wish to travel abroad.

As part of her bail conditions, Brooks was told she could not contact former NoTW reporter Dan Evans and the paper's former executive editor Neil Wallis, who are on bail following the Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking.

Brooks, who appeared before District Judge Howard Riddle, faces a charge of conspiring with others to intercept voicemail messages between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006. The former newspaper executive is also accused in relation to Milly Dowler between April 9 and 21 2002 and Andrew Gilchrist between December 3 2002 and January 22 2003.

Brooks is already due at Southwark Crown Court on September 26 to face three charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. This relates to the alleged removal of boxes of material from the News International archive and trying to conceal documents, computers and other material from police.

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