Brooks cleared of bribery charge during phone-hacking defence trial

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks

The former editor of the News of the World and the Sun tabloids Rebekah Brooks has provided evidence for the first time in her phone-hacking defence trial on Thursday after being cleared of one of the five charges she faced over wrongdoing at Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids.

The charge was related to bribing an official paying for a photo of Prince William in a bikini.

Shortly before Mrs. Brooks started to provide evidence in her defence, Judge John Saunders has told the jury at U.K. phone hacking trial that there is “no case for Mrs. Brooks to answer” to a charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, that is, bribing an official.

Saunders has further added that “considerable uncertainty” had arisen about the source of the photo.

Brooks was alleged to have sanctioned a payment of £4,000 ($6,700, 4,900 euros) to a public official for a picture of Prince William dressed as a bikini-clad Bond girl at a party at Sandhurst, the British army’s officer training school.

The picture however, never get published but led to a story in The Sun in September 2006 with the headline “Willy in a Bikini” together with a mocked-up picture of the second-in-line to the throne in a green swimsuit.

Mrs. Brooks, 45, still faces four other charges including conspiring to hack pones, all of which she denies.

She had edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when she moved to edit its sister paper The Sun, until 2006.

Mrs. Brooks is among the seven defendants who are facing variety of charges in connection to the phone-hacking trial. All the defendants deny the charges.

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