Former Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks in court

AP News
Posted: Jun 22, 2012 9:24 AM
Former Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks in court

LONDON (AP) — Former Rupert Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks has been granted bail until September as she awaits trial on charges of attempting to cover up evidence of phone hacking.

Brooks made a brief court appearance in London on Friday. She was bailed until a hearing on Sept. 26 at which she is expected to enter a plea.

Brooks, the former head of Murdoch's British newspaper operation, was charged last month with conspiring to pervert the course of justice, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors say she removed boxes of material from the company's archive and tried to conceal documents, computers and other material from police.

Brooks, 44, has denied wrongdoing.

A former editor of the scandal-tainted and now-defunct tabloid News of the World, Brooks is the most senior Murdoch ally to face charges in the phone hacking scandal that has shaken Britain's media, police and political establishments.

Her husband Charlie Brooks, her personal assistant, her chauffeur and two security personnel face similar charges. They all appeared at Southwark Crown Court Friday and were granted bail.

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Brooks also has been questioned by police about allegations of phone hacking and police bribery. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to charge her with those offenses. Prosecution lawyer Andrew Edis said Friday he hoped a decision would be made by August, British media reported.