Monday 30th June, 8.30pm ABC1
She was the queen of the British tabloids, a faithful and trusted servant of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He was the top aide to the British Prime Minister.
But for the past eight months, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been the focus of one of the longest-running criminal trials in British history. Facing charges relating to phone hacking and paying off public officials, the stakes were high – with the very real prospect of time in jail.
On Tuesday Brooks walked free, a jury finding her not guilty of all the charges brought against her. Her former lover and the man she promoted to run the News of the World newspaper, Andy Coulson, didn’t fare as well. He was found guilty of conspiring to hack into phone messages.
This week, Four Corners reporter Marian Wilkinson looks at the case made against Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. She talks to people who worked on the News of the World, the victims of the phone hacking conspiracy and the MPs who fought to make the public aware of the criminal activities going on inside Murdoch’s papers.
Already, British Prime Minister David Cameron has been forced to deliver a humiliating apology for employing Andy Coulson on his staff.
And Rupert Murdoch’s UK headquarters has again apologised for the phone hacking scandal that affected hundreds of victims. But what does this mean for Murdoch and his business empire?
There is little doubt he’ll take comfort that Rebekah Brooks, his former UK chief executive, has been found not guilty. But the guilty verdict against Andy Coulson, a former senior editor, and 11 new trials of Murdoch’s journalists pending at the Old Bailey carry real implications for News Corp on both sides of the Atlantic.
RUPERT, REBEKAH AND ANDY, reported by Marian Wilkinson and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 30th June at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 1st July at 11.00am and 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm.