Friday 22 September 2017

Brooks told friend of Cameron's how to hack phones, court hears

Rebekah Brooks at the Old Bailey in London
Rebekah Brooks at the Old Bailey in London

Jasper Copping

Rebekah Brooks told a close friend of David Cameron how to hack mobile phones during a birthday party held for the British prime minister at Chequers, a court heard yesterday.

The former News International chief executive is said to have made the remarks to Dom Loehnis, who sat next to her at the dinner in October 2010, at the Buckinghamshire retreat.

Mr Loehnis, at whose wedding Mr Cameron was best man, told the Old Bailey he had asked Mrs Brooks about the hacking investigation and that she had discussed the techniques by which messages could be intercepted.

DOUBTS

Mr Loehnis, a recruitment consultant and former journalist, said: "She said at a certain point people had discovered that you could get into mobile phone voicemails by tapping in a distinct code."

He said Ms Brooks, a former editor of the 'News of the World' and 'The Sun', did not give any indication of whether she thought it was illegal.

During the conversation, she also expressed doubts that Andy Coulson, also a former 'News of the World' editor and then Mr Cameron's director of communications, could remain in his job, given that the story "didn't seem to be going away".

Jonathan Laidlaw QC, defending Ms Brooks, claimed the "two minute" conversation was not at admission that she had been involved in phone hacking but was simply a discussion of what was a topical subject.

Ms Brooks (45) of Churchill, Oxon; Mr Coulson (45) from Charing, Kent; Ian Edmondson (44) from Raynes Park, south-west London; and Stuart Kuttner (73) from Woodford Green, Essex, all deny conspiring with others to hack phones between October 3, 2000, and August 9, 2006. The trial continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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