News / Europe

    Murdoch Staff Turned to Hacking in Cutthroat Journalism World, Court Hears

    FILE - This combination of file pictures shows (L) former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, and (R) former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
    FILE - This combination of file pictures shows (L) former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, and (R) former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
    Reuters
    Reporters on Rupert Murdoch's News of the World repeatedly hacked the phones of senior politicians and even rival journalists in a desperate bid to get ahead on salacious front-page stories, a London court heard on Thursday.
     
    Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two of Britain's most high profile former newspaper editors, are on trial with six others accused of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and make illegal payments to find exclusives when they ran the now defunct Sunday tabloid and its daily sister tabloid, the Sun.
     
    “In the dog-eat-dog world of journalism, in this frenzy to get this huge story, and to try and get something better or at least as good as what everyone else has got, that is what you do if you're Ian Edmondson,” said prosecutor Andrew Edis.
     
    “You hack the competition.”
     
    Edmondson, one of those on trial, ran the news gathering desk at the tabloid when Coulson, later Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, was the editor.
     
    FILE - Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp.FILE - Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp.
    x
    FILE - Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp.
    FILE - Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp.
    ​Edis said it was three emails sent to Edmondson in 2006 which ignited the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and ultimately led to the paper's closure.
     
    Following legal action from hacking victims, the firm handed over the three internal emails to police, which revealed how to tap into the phones of senior politicians and royalty, the jury of nine women and three men were told.
     
    Edis told the court at London's Old Bailey the discovery prompted detectives to look again at Murdoch's tabloids.
     
    “They have had quite an effect,” he said.
     
    The emails were from Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator and accomplished phone hacker who was highly paid by the paper, giving details of the mobile phone PIN numbers that were required to intercept voicemail messages.
     
    The phones belonged to then deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, ex-Labor minister Tessa Jowell and Frederick Windsor, the son of Queen Elizabeth's cousin.
     
    The jury were told how the paper responded to news that Prescott was having an affair in April 2006 and its frantic attempts to match one its rivals, the Mail on Sunday.
     
    The court heard the story was so big that Coulson authorized senior editors to offer large sums of cash to Prescott's lover.
     
    “Start at 100,000 pounds [$161,000],” Coulson wrote in a quickly fired-off email to Edmondson, while Mulcaire, who has already pleaded guilty to phone-hacking charges, began to tap into the voicemail messages of her phone and that of the minister's aides.
     
    To ensure that they knew what the Mail on Sunday were planning to write, he hacked the phones of two of its journalists, Edis said.
     
    On Wednesday, Edis said Brooks and Coulson must have known about phone-hacking due to their senior positions on the paper and the fact they held its purse strings.
     
    The jury was told three senior former journalists on the paper Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw, had already admitted conspiracy to hack phones.
     
    Brooks and Coulson and the six others, who include senior figures from Murdoch's British newspaper arm and Brooks's husband Charlie, all deny the charges.
     
    The trial continues.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora