Brooks raises 'grave doubts' over chance of a fair trial

Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie have raised ‘grave doubts’over their chances of a fair trial after they were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice yesterday.

Yesterday evening the couple both released statements condemning the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service. Brooks is facing three conspiracy charges over allegations she concealed information, documents and computers from the Met Police investigation into the phone-hacking scandal.

Five other people, including her husband and News International head of security Mark Hanna, are facing similar conspiracy charges.

Brooks has since questioned whether the decision was ‘made on a proper impartial assessment of the evidence”, saying she was ‘baffled’by the decision to charge her.

“However, more importantly, I cannot express my anger enough that those closest to me have been dragged into this unfairly,’she said.

“One day the details of this case will emerge and people will see today as nothing more than an expensive sideshow and a waste of public money as a result of an unjust and weak decision.

“I was the editor of the News of the World, I was the editor of The Sun and Chief Executive.

“Even News International’s harshest critics can’t wish to see today, people with no involvement of the central issues being treated like this and being involved like this.”

Yesterday, the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Levitt QC, reminded the media that all six individuals charged ‘has a right to a fair trial”, adding: ‘It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial.”

Brooks’s racehorse trainer husband Charlie issued a statement claiming that his arrest was ‘an attempt to use me and others as scapegoats, the effect of which will be to ratchet up pressure on my wife, who I believe is also the subject of a witch hunt”.

He added: “There are 172 police officers, the equivalent of eight murder squads, working on this; so it is no surprise to me the pressure is on to bring prosecutions however weak they may be.

“I have no doubt that the lack of evidence against me will be borne out in court but I have grave doubts that my wife can ever get a fair trial, given the huge volume of biased commentary which she has been subjected to.

“We will fight this in court.”

  • To contact the Press Gazette newsdesk call 020 7936 6433 or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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