There are eight defendants, including former chief executive of News International and editor of the News of the World, Rebekah Brooks and former editor of the News of the World and Downing Street Communications Director, Andy Coulson, who deny all the charges.
Hacked Off will be providing an independent and impartial online reporting service, with a dedicated court reporter covering the key developments in this complex and highly significant trial.
Martin Hickman, former senior journalist on The Independent and co-author of a gripping account of the hacking scandal will be reporting from court for Hacked Off during the opening stages of the first major phone hacking trial. Filing daily reports, he will summarise the main developments and introduce readers to the key questions in what is expected to be a complex and lengthy series of cases. Hickman started his career with local newspapers, Reuters and the Press Association. He joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005, writing on food, personal finance, energy and clothes retailing. He led campaigns against factory-farmed chicken, payment protection insurance, restaurants keeping tips and the use of wild animals in circuses. In 2010 he was named Journalist of the Year by the Foreign Press Association in London, for an investigation into a common food ingredient, palm oil. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch – News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain. His latest book, about energy efficiency in the home, is called Save Your Energy. He tweets at @martin_hickman.
We will be publishing Martin Hickman’s reports here on the Hacked Off blog while court is sitting, with twitter alerts to let you know when updates are available, via @hackinginquiry.
The charges are:
■ Ian Edmondson, Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson and Stuart Kuttner between October 3, 2000, and August 9, 2006, conspired together and with others and persons unknown to intercept, without lawful authority, communications in the course of their transmission by means of a public telecommunications system, namely mobile phone voicemail messages.
■ Clive Goodman and Coulson, between August 31, 2002, and January 31, 2003, conspired together and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
■ Goodman and Coulson, between January 31, 2005, and June 3, 2005, conspired together and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
■ Brooks between January 1, 2004, and January 31, 2012, conspired with others and persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
■ Brooks, between February 9, 2006, and October 16, 2008, conspired with others and with persons unknown to commit misconduct in public office.
■ Brooks and Cheryl Carter between July 6, 2011, and July 9, 2011, conspired together to do a series of acts which had a tendency to and were intended to pervert the course of public justice, namely permanently to remove seven boxes of archived material from the archive of News International.
■ Brooks, Charles Brooks and Mark Hanna, between July 15, 2011, and July 19, 2011, conspired together and with others and persons unknown to do an act or a series of acts which had a tendency to and were intended to pervert the course of justice, namely to conceal documents, computers, and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan police who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and The Sun newspapers.