Rebekah Brooks could not be shown to have authorised payments to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire during her editorship at the News of the World, it was claimed in court.
The suggestion came as documents shown at the Old Bailey also revealed that Mulcaire had a 12-month contract with the paper, signed in Sept 2001, in which it was agreed he would receive £92,000 (€109,653) — in weekly payments.
But it was claimed that Brooks — who edited the paper from May 2000 to Jan 2003 — could not be shown to have signed payments to private investigator Mulcaire during her time as editor of the now-defunct tabloid.
Michael Gill, group financial controller of News UK, previously known as News International, told the Old Bailey that there were various levels of approval at the company so certain managers could only authorise payments up to a certain amount.
Brooks, Coulson and Kuttner were approved to authorise payments of up to £50,000, the court heard.
Jurors were shown lists of payments that went through the News of the World each month — drawn up by Mr Gill — including those made to Mulcaire.
In Apr 2002 — the month that stories were published that used material hacked from Milly Dowler’s phone — the court saw there were hundreds of payments of varying amounts, including four of £1,769 each to Mulcaire’s company Nine Consultancy Ltd.
Jury hears that every payment to Mulcaire or Mulcaire company had to be authorised and not a single one authorised by Rebekah Brooks— lisa o'carroll (@lisaocarroll) November 18, 2013
Jonathan Laidlaw QC, representing Brooks, said “she never authorised a payment to Mr Mulcaire, either by his name or by any of the companies by which he was paid”.
Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; former NotW editor Andy Coulson, also 45, from Charing in Kent; former NotW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south west London; and the tabloid’s ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, are on trial for conspiring with others to hack phones between Oct 3 2000 and Aug 9 2006.
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