Business, Finance & Economics

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson appear at Old Bailey for phone hacking hearing

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson — the two most senior former News Corp. employees implicated in the phone hacking scandal that engulfed the Rupert Murdoch-led company — appeared at London's Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Judge Adrian Fulford set Sept. 9, 2013, as the starting date for a full trial into charges that Brooks, Coulson and five other employees of the News Corp. subsidiary News Limited engaged in or knew about illegal hacking of mobile phone voicemails, the BBC reported.

Other charges relate to alleged attempts to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks, 44, who resigned as head of News International in July 2011, and Coulson, also 44, who once served as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, are both charged with phone hacking.

Both are former editors of the defunct tabloid News of the World, which is at the center of phone hacking allegations. 

The New York Times described Brooks as being once among the most influential people in British journalism. 

According to London's Daily Telegraph, several other former journalists from the News of the World are also facing charges.

They include ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup, along with private detective Glenn Mulcaire. 

Other charges relate to illegal payments to public officials by News Corp. papers.

Prosecutors have identified more than 600 victims of the alleged activities at News of the World.

Brooks husband, Charlie Brooks, personal assistant Cheryl Carter, chauffeur Paul Edwards, and News head of security Mark Hanna face one charge each, according to a report in the Jakarta Globe.

The Old Bailey is London's main criminal court.

More from GlobalPost: Phone-hacking scandal: Ex-editors Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson to face charges