Tags: News Corp. | phone | hacking | lawsuit

News Corp. Drops Bid to Recoup Phone-Hacking Trial Costs

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 11:42 AM

News Corp.’s U.K. unit dropped a bid to recoup legal costs from the eight-month phone hacking trial where it paid the bills for former employees who were acquitted in June, including Rebekah Brooks.

The publisher “will not be the beneficiary of a costs order,” and take money “from the public purse,” Robert Smith, a lawyer for News Corp. said at a hearing in London today. The company decided this week to not to proceed with the application, he said.

Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, was acquitted of phone hacking, bribery and obstruction charges at the trial that focused on reporting practices at two of News Corp.’s U.K. newspapers. Of the defendants at the trial, only Andy Coulson, the former editor of News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, was convicted.

In U.K. courts, the winning party can seek to recover their costs from the losers. In criminal cases filed by prosecutors, the bill is footed by taxpayers.

Brooks’s lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw, said that because his client would have to give News Corp. any funds awarded by the court, she would drop her motion for costs. Given News Corp.’s financial arrangements with the defendants, it was invited to make submissions to the court on the issue.

“Given the certainty that our costs would continue to increase disproportionately, we’ve taken the pragmatic view not to seek repayment from the defendants for legal costs borne by the company,” News UK said in a statement.

Brooks’s husband, Charlie, and Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the News of the World, who were both cleared of charges at the trial, will continue with applications to seek some costs.

Cheryl Carter, Brooks’s former personal assistant, and Mark Hanna, a News Corp. security guard, were also cleared of charges they destroyed evidence at the height of the hacking furor in 2011. Revelations that reporters had listened to messages on the phone of a murdered schoolgirl triggered widespread outrage that led News Corp. to close the News of the World.

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News Corp.'s U.K. unit dropped a bid to recoup legal costs from the eight-month phone hacking trial where it paid the bills for former employees who were acquitted in June, including Rebekah Brooks.
News Corp., phone, hacking, lawsuit
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2014-42-01
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 11:42 AM
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