Quantcast
Connect with us

Former British prime minister Tony Blair ‘advised Murdoch executives over hacking’

Published

on

Former British prime minister Tony Blair advised a key executive in Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire days before she was arrested over phone hacking at the News of the World, a court heard on Wednesday.

Blair also offered to be an “unofficial” advisor to Murdoch and his son James at the height of the scandal which led to the closure of the tabloid in July 2011.

ADVERTISEMENT

An email written by Rebekah Brooks, then chief executive of Murdoch’s British newspaper group, News International, described an hour-long phone call with Blair in which he allegedly told her to “tough up”.

The email was shown to the jury at the end of almost four months of prosecution arguments in the phone-hacking trial, in which Brooks is expected to take the stand later this week.

The 45-year-old denies charges of conspiring to illegally access voicemails, bribing public officials and trying to hide evidence from police.

Brooks’ email was addressed to James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and then chairman of News International, and was dated July 11, 2011, the day after the scandal-hit News of the World published its final edition.

ADVERTISEMENT

Writing in note form, Brooks described how Blair allegedly told her: “Keep strong and definitely sleeping pills. Need to have clear heads and remember no rash short-term solutions as they only give you long-term headaches.”

He also reassured her that “it will pass. Tough up”.

On July 15, Brooks resigned and on July 17, she was arrested for the first time on suspicion of phone hacking.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brooks wrote that Blair said he was “available to you (James Murdoch), KRM (Rupert Murdoch) and me as an unofficial adviser but needs to be between us. He is sending more notes later”.

The email also says Blair recommended that Brooks set up an independent inquiry to investigate senior News of the World managers.

Brooks wrote that Blair told her to “publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept shortcomings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over”

ADVERTISEMENT

– Brooks prepares to testify –

Brooks is expected to give evidence on Thursday when lawyers for the seven defendants begin making their case. They were due to begin on Wednesday but were delayed by legal arguments.

Brooks denies conspiring to hack phones while she edited the News of the World between 2000 and 2003, specifically conspiring to illegally access the voicemails of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

ADVERTISEMENT

The allegation in 2011 that Dowler was targeted proved the final straw in a slow drip of revelations about phone hacking at the News of the World, prompting Murdoch to summarily shut down the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid.

Brooks, once one of the most powerful women in British media and so close to Murdoch that commentators dubbed her his “fifth daughter”, is among three defendants facing charges of phone hacking.

The others include Andy Coulson, her former lover and deputy at the News of the World, who replaced her as editor in 2003, and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner. They all deny the charges.

Prime Minister David Cameron will be watching closely when Brooks and Coulson take the stand, given his once close ties to both journalists — and the huge potential embarrassment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cameron frequently socialised with Brooks and her husband and hired Coulson as his communications chief after he left the News of the World in 2007.

In related charges, Brooks is accused of hiding evidence from the police, allegedly aided by her husband, former PA Cheryl Carter and head of security Mark Hanna.

She faces a further charge of conspiring to pay a defence ministry official for stories.

Coulson is also accused of bribery along with Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s former royal editor who was jailed for hacking in 2007. They both deny the charges.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘He’s cooked’: Sam Donaldson warns Trump the Senate may vote to convict him after impeachment trial

Published

on

Veteran newsman Sam Donaldson on Monday evening told CNN viewers not to assume that Senate Republicans would refuse to remove President Donald Trump from office during an impeachment vote.

"Breaking news," CNN Don Lemon alerted. "A CNN source saying that the effort to pressure Ukraine for political help alarmed John Bolton so much that the told an aide to alert White House lawyers that Giuliani was a hand grenade who will blow everyone up. And a source familiar with Fiona Hill’s testimony says the former Russia adviser told lawmakers she was she saw wrongdoing in the Ukraine policy and reported it."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Fraud Guarantee’ paid him $500,000 to work for indicted associate

Published

on

Rudy Giuliani admitted being paid a half a million dollars by an associate currently being held in federal custody, Reuters reported Monday.

"President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination," Reuters reported.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

John Bolton ripped Rudy Giuliani as a drug dealer and ‘hand grenade’: report

Published

on

Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was reportedly shocked by the shadow foreign policy being conducted by Rudy Giuliani, a top former National Security Council official testified to Congress on Monday, The New York Times reports.

"The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image