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Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks denies cover up in packed courtroom

Brooks is accused of trying to remove material from the News International archive in the days after it emerged Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked

By Margaret Davis and Ellen Branagh, Press Association

Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, has denied five phone hacking charges.

The 45-year-old appeared in a packed courtroom at Southwark Crown Court alongside fellow former News International staff.

She entered not guilty pleas to counts linked to an alleged conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, denied conspiracy to hack phones between October 3, 2000, and August 9, 2006, as did former News of the World news editor James Weatherup and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner.

Brooks, former editor of both the News of the World and The Sun, also denied two charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, one between January 1, 2004, and January 31, 2012, and a second between February 9, 2006, and October 16, 2008.

She also denied two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

It is alleged that Brooks and her personal assistant Cheryl Carter, who also denies the charge, tried to remove boxes of archived material from the News International archive between July 6 and 9, 2011.

News that missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked had emerged in a Guardian report on July 5.

In a second count, Brooks, husband Charlie, former NI head of security Mark Hanna, security staff Lee Sandell and David Johnson, and driver Paul Edwards, are all accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice between July 15 and 19, 2011, by hiding documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials relating to the News of the World and The Sun.

All six today denied the charge.

Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman also appeared in court today and denied two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

The first offence allegedly took place between August 2002 and January 2003, and the second between January and June 2005.

All the defendants were released on bail and are due to face trial later in the year.

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