Ex-Murdoch editor Rebekah Brooks takes the stand, acquitted on one charge
LONDON (REUTERS) - The jury trying Rebekah Brooks over phone-hacking charges should not hold her role as a former Rupert Murdoch editor with huge political influence against her, her lawyer said, as the former British newspaper boss took the stand on Thursday.
Brooks, a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, answered questions in court for the first time on the hacking scandal which has convulsed Britain's elite and forced Mr Murdoch to close the 168-year-old tabloid at the centre of the scandal, the News of the World.
Opening Brooks's defence within a packed court room on day 62 of the trial, Mr Jonathan Laidlaw urged the jury to forget the myth that had built up around one of the most famous women in Britain, and to focus on the specific charges.
He was speaking shortly after the judge ruled that Brooks had been acquitted on one of the five charges she was facing, relating to one charge of authorising an illegal payment for a picture of Prince William in a bikini. She denies all the other charges.