What Happened At The News Corp. Phone Hacking Trial In January

The trial of several former News Corp. officials for their alleged involvement in hacking the voicemails of several prominent people, including British royalty, politicians, crime victims, and actors is in its second month. Among the developments: Actress Sienna Miller testified about her voicemail being hacked, a former News of the World reporter claimed officials knew about the phone hacking, jurors were told about executive cellphones going missing during the time of the hacking, and shown footage of one executive's spouse hiding a laptop in a parking garage.

Previous testimony and allegations from the prosecutor against former News International editors and executives Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, and Stuart Kuttner include orders to initiate phone hacking, hiding evidence of phone hacking, payments to officials, and obtaining private phone directories with royal phone numbers.

Here are several notable things we learned from the phone hacking trial in January:

  • Actress Sienna Miller testified that a private phone message between her and actor Daniel Craig was made public and had been turned into “a titillating piece of information” for the media, who claimed that the two were having an affair. After her testimony via video link, Judge John Saunders told Miller that “I am very sorry what has gone on in this court and reported in the press has caused you distress.” Her ex-boyfriend, actor Jude Law, also testified at the trial.
  • The jury was given a police statement from former News of the World journalist Dan Evans, who said that he was “encouraged” to talk about phone hacking when interviewing with former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, and that he told Coulson that intercepting voicemails had saved money for his previous employer, the Sunday Mirror. Evans has already pleaded guilty to four charges, including two that are related to phone hacking.
  • News of the World archivist Nicholas Mays testified that Rebekah Brooks' personal assistant asked for Brooks' notebooks from the same time period that the phone hacking took place on the day that staff was told the newspaper would be shut down.
  • The jury was shown police evidence that as many as 10 mobile phones issued to Brooks during the time she edited News Corp.'sThe Sun newspaper and worked as chief executive for News International have disappeared and have not been accounted for.
  • News International had its offices and the homes of executives like Brooks swept for eavesdropping bugs as Rupert Murdoch was bidding to purchase broadcaster BSkyB.
  • Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Brooks' husband leaving a laptop and garbage bag in a parking garage under their apartment building on the same day she was arrested. Brooks has been accused of withholding evidence from police as they investigated the phone hacking.