UK

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson trial delayed

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson
Image caption Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are among those to be tried in October

Former News International boss Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson have been told their trial will be delayed for almost two months.

Mr Justice Saunders said the trial of the pair and others would begin on 28 October, rather than 9 September.

The Old Bailey judge adjourned the trial for unreportable legal reasons.

Ms Brooks denies that she conspired with others to hack mobile phones at the News of the World.

Ms Brooks edited the paper from 2000 to 2003. She then moved to edit the Sun before becoming chief executive officer of the two papers' parent group News International. Mr Coulson was News of the World editor from 2003 to 2007.

The trial beginning in October involves eight defendants who all deny a number of allegations which developed out of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Weeting investigation into the News of the World.

Mrs Brooks, 45, Mr Coulson, 45, former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, and former news editor Ian Edmondson, 44, deny conspiracy to intercept mobile phone voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.

She further denies two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, one between January 2004 and January 2012, and a second between February 2006 and October 2008.

She also stands accused with former colleague Cheryl Carter, 49, of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by allegedly removing seven boxes of material from the News International archive in July 2011.

The final charge relates to an allegation that she, her husband Charlie Brooks, 50, and Mark Hanna, News International's head of security, conspired to pervert the course of justice by allegedly hiding documents and computer equipment from the police in July 2011.

Mr Coulson and Clive Goodman, the former royal editor of the News of the World, face two allegations of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and between January and June 2005.