Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#Leveson #NewsCorp: Brooks Was Always Murdochs Priority - She Was Also The Prosecutors

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch arrived in London last July to take charge of a burgeoning phone-hacking scandal and was asked by reporters what his priority was.

“This one,” the 81-year-old media mogul snapped, gesturing to red-haired Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of his company’s U.K. publishing business, who was standing at his side.

Prosecutors in London, it turns out, had the same priority.

Yesterday Brooks, 43, became the highest ranking News Corp.

 executive to be charged in the 17-month-old investigation that has seen about 50 people arrested on suspicion of involvement in voice-mail intrusion, police bribery or computer-hacking.

One of six defendants who include her husband and her former assistant, she is accused of obstruction and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by destroying e-mails and other relevant evidence. She denied the charges. Her husband, Charlie, described the prosecution as a “witch hunt.”

From Murdoch there was uncharacteristic silence. Just a year ago, the media titan threw all his support behind Brooks, designating her as the company’s main line of defense against the widening phone-hacking probe.

He spoke out in her behalf last July, even after it was revealed that phone-hacking had taken place on her watch as editor of the News of the World. He accepted her resignation July 15 with regret and refused to blame her during his subsequent testimony before more