Rebekah Brooks' Lawyer: She Is Innocent
Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News International who was arrested on Sunday, will be testifying before a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday, her spokesman announced Monday. The announcement brought an end to pervasive doubts that Brooks would appear before Parliament in the wake of her arrest.
Brooks' lawyer also made a statement to the press in which he said his client was "not guilty of any criminal offense." He said that Scotland Yard "put no allegations to her and showed her no documents connecting her to any crime."
The session of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee promises to be an extraordinary one. Besides Brooks, Rupert and James Murdoch will both be appearing to give evidence in the phone hacking scandal. The latter two initially refused to turn up, and had to receive a personal summons from a representative of Parliament before they agreed to come.
Brooks, who resigned as the head of Murdoch's British newspaper division on Friday, was arrested on Sunday and was grilled for 12 hours before being allowed to post bail. Her arrest prompted fears that she would be unable to attend the Parliament hearing because of legal requirements precluding her from discussing cases under police investigation.
She is sure to face questions about her complicity in phone hacking while editor of the News of the World. Though police have said that at least 4,000 people were hacked by the tabloid, Brooks has denied that she knew any criminal activity was going on. Former employees of the News of the World told Reuters on Saturday that the paper's extremely thorough vetting process ensured that Brooks had to know the provenance of many criminally-obtained stories.
"They went in and they were cross-examined for two hours every day," a former writer for the paper said of News of the World journalists. And it was all about the genesis of all the stories."
Even more ominous for Brooks, the hacking of the phone of the murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler—an act whose revelation turned the News of the World scandal into a full-blown media and political crisis—occurred during her editorship in 2002.