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Press rivals both claim victory over phone-hacking verdicts

Published on Jun 25, 2014 10:00 AM
This file combination of pictures created on Oct 31, 2013 shows Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson (left) and Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's media was on Wednesday split over the verdicts in the phone-hacking trial, with the Rupert Murdoch press focusing on Rebekah Brooks's acquittal, and its rivals on Andy Coulson's conviction.

Murdoch tabloid The Sun claimed Tuesday's verdicts as a victory, while his broadsheet The Times said the move to impose new regulations in the wake of the revelations "looks even more of a disaster today than it ever has".

But the Guardian, which exposed much of the scandal, said the trial "produced a picture of widespread criminality" within the News of the World, the tabloid at the heart of the affair.

Murdoch shut down the News of the World in disgrace amid a boycott by advertisers just over three years ago after it emerged that the paper had hacked the voicemails of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. The paper was later found to have hacked a long list of public figures including Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne, his wife Kate Middleton, and celebrities including former Beatle Paul McCartney and actor Jude Law.

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