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Rebekah Brooks appears in court on phone hacking charge

London, September 3, 2012, AFP: 23:52 IST
Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks appeared in a London court on Monday to face charges related to alleged phone hacking.

Brooks, 44, appeared in the dock accused of conspiring with others to illegally access voicemails, and spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and address during the short hearing. Brooks is facing one general charge, which prosecutors claim could affect more than 600 alleged victims, and two other specific charges linked to murdered of schoolgirl Milly Dowler and former trade union boss Andy Gilchrist.

She has been accused alongside six other News of the World staff and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The charges carry a maximum punishment of two years in prison.

She is yet to enter a plea in court but has previously denied the charges. Brooks edited the now-defunct News of the World tabloid from 2000 to 2003. She was the chief executive of media baron Rupert Murdoch's News International from 2009 to 2011.

Brooks was told to appear with her co-defendants at Court on September 26. She is already due at the court on that date to face three charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks was released on bail, with conditions including that she lives at her given address, does not contact her fellow accused and gives the police seven days' notice should she wish to travel abroad.

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