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Blair 'advised Murdoch executives over hacking crisis'

Published on Feb 20, 2014 12:57 AM

LONDON (AFP) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair advised a key executive in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire days before she was arrested over phone hacking at the News of the World, a court heard on Wednesday.

Mr Blair also offered to be an "unofficial" advisor to Mr Murdoch and his son James at the height of the scandal which led to the closure of the tabloid in July 2011.

An email written by Rebekah Brooks, then chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper group, News International, described an hour-long phone call with Mr Blair in which he allegedly told her "it will pass. Tough up".

The email was shown to the jury at the end of almost four months of prosecution arguments in the phone-hacking trial, in which Brooks, one of seven defendants, is expected to take the stand later this week.

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