'A must read for anyone who wants to understand not only our media, but power in Britain'– OWEN JONES, author The Establishment
'Top court reporting' – NICK DAVIES, THE GUARDIAN
Go behind the doors of Court 12 of the Old Bailey for what was billed as 'the trial of the century' – the phone hacking trial of journalists from Rupert Murdoch's two biggest British tabloid newspapers.
Every twist and turn of the longest-running criminal trial in English legal history is covered by Peter Jukes in this edition, crowdfunded by members of the public.
Heard in London in 2013 and 2014, the phone hacking trial had a heady brew of criminal eavesdropping, media rights, political intrigue, and Hollywood stardust. Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were accused of phone hacking and corrupting public officials while editing the Sun and the News of the World newspapers respectively. Brooks and her husband Charlie and her former PA, Cheryl Carter, were also accused of perverting the course of justice in an attempt to thwart detectives investigating the hacking.
The trial took place after years of cover up of phone hacking at Britain's biggest newspaper group News International (now News UK), the country's biggest police force, the Metropolitan Police, and the Conservative government led by David Cameron, who employed Coulson as his director of communications. After they were sworn in, the judge, Justice Saunders, told the jury: "British justice is on trial".
The long-running trial laid bare the intense illegal surveillance of individuals carried out by the politically-connected News of the World. Employing an array of private detectives, pried deeply into the private lives of anyone who mattered to them at the time: a Hollywood actress, a missing schoolgirl, a Cabinet minister. Sometimes the surveillance was based on well-founded intelligence that revealed a legitimate story, sometimes it was on a whim or the result of a malicious tip-off.
The trial pitted London's most extravagantly paid barristers against each other. Rupert Murdoch's millions hired top Queens Counsel to represent the seven defendants. The £5,000-a-day barrister, Jonathan Laidlaw, for instance, represented Rebekah Brooks. The multi-million pound case tottered on the brink of collapse several times as a result media misbehaviour, illness and delay.
Drawing on verbatim court exchanges and exhibits, Jukes reveals the daily reality and grand strategies of this major criminal case. He reveals a secret about Rebekah Brooks' 14 days in the witness box. He explains why a defence lawyer gave him a wry smile during a cigarette break. And he discloses the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service which contribute to the verdicts.
Like Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman and Hack Attack by Nick Davies, this book will fascinate anyone wanting to know about the phone hacking scandal. It is also ideal for anyone who wants to know the twists and turns of a major criminal trial.
'Remarkable. I feel I now know all the key players and why some defendants were found guilty and some not, despite never having spent a minute at the trial.'
– PROFESSOR STEWART PURVIS, FORMER ITN EDITOR
'Written in a chatty, gossipy style that brings the courtroom drama alive.'
– NIGEL PAULEY, DAILY STAR JOURNALIST
Publisher: Canbury Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 242 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm
'Top court reporting.' – NICK DAVIES, THE GUARDIAN
'Written in a chatty, gossipy style that brings the courtroom drama alive.' – NIGEL PAULEY, DAILY STAR JOURNALIST
'Remarkable. I feel I now know all the key players and why some defendants were found guilty and some not, despite never having spent a minute at the trial.' – PROFESSOR STEWART PURVIS, FORMER ITN EDITOR
'Peter Jukes has written a fascinating account of the News Corp hacking trials, which he had live tweeted throughout.' – RODNEY E LEVER, INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA
'This is perhaps one of the most absorbing books to do with journalism that I have read; for the duration that I was reading it, I did not want to do anything else. I would read it on the train, then as I got home, as soon as everything had been dealt with, I would be reading. It’s the perfect book for a trainee journalist, or anyone who wants to know more about the trial, and its subsequent impact.' – MADEMOISELLE WOMEN
'This book, based on the half a million words tweeted during the trial, is a gripping reasoned account of the Hacking Trial. Anyone wishing to become a courtroom lawyer in the 21st Century should read it.' – ALISTAIR KELMAN, COUNSEL
'This book is that rare beast a ground-breaking volume that's also entertaining and informative... There's a little of Dickens sharp observational eye in his accounts of the David v Goliath battle that took place in Court 12. Naturally, this being the underlings of billionaire Rupert Murdoch versus The Crown, the normal rules were suspended.' – PADDY FRENCH, PRESS GANG
'Absorbing and highly revealing... What's striking is how the mass of cash Rupert Murdoch threw at the defence disrupted, disturbed and thwarted the prosecution.' – DAN WADDELL, EX-REDTOP REPORTER
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