By Martin Hickman
The Sun never received any complaints about stories for which a Ministry of Defence official received payments, Rebekah Brooks told the phone hacking trial today.
In her defence against a charge that she conspired to commit misconduct in public office, Mrs Brooks said that she was unaware £40,000 a reporter had requested for a source was going to Bettina Jordan-Barber.
As she continued her evidence at the Old Bailey, the former Sun editor said the reporter who requested the money for his “top military contact” was experienced and trusted.
Saying the reporter was a “story machine,” she told the court: “I’m not policing him.”
She added that the Ministry of Defence had confirmed the details of all his articles in question, adding: “There were never any complaints about where he was getting his stories.”
“We never received any complaints from the Ministry if Defence or anyone in the military.”
Mrs Brooks – who while at News International authorised payments to public officials on a handful of occasions where there was “overwhelming public interest”, she told the court earlier today – said there could have been several different sources for the stories.
She and six other defendants including former News of the World editor Andy Coulson deny all the charges they face. The trial, which is expected to last until mid-May, continues.