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Ex-Murdoch exec Brooks found not guilty in hacking trial

Former high-ranking News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks has been found not guilty of phone hacking and crimes related to its cover-up.

Jurors in the trial, at London's Old Bailey, sat through more than seven months of evidence, and pored through more than 3,000 pages of documents to reach a verdict after seven days of deliberation.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charlie, leave the Old Bailey in London. Brooks was acquitted Tuesday of orchestrating a campaign to hack into phones and bribe officials.
Neil Hall | Reuters
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charlie, leave the Old Bailey in London. Brooks was acquitted Tuesday of orchestrating a campaign to hack into phones and bribe officials.

Brooks has been found not guilty of conspiracy to intercept communications; not guilty of perverting the course of justice and not guilty of making illegal payments to public officials.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's ex-media chief, Andy Coulson, was found guilty of conspiracy to intercept communications. The jury has been instructed to reach a majority verdict on two further charges against him, of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and will reconvene Wednesday to consider a verdict.

Read More English newspaper hacking trial in final stretch

Cameron, who hired Coulson as his head of communications in 2007, on Tuesday made " a full and frank" apology over his decision to hire the former editor, saying it "was the wrong decision." Coulson resigned as the prime minister's adviser in 2011.

The conclusion of the trial marks the culmination of three rocky years for News Corp, after a story broke in The Guardian that a News of the World journalist had hacked into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail.

The scandal led to the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World and sent shockwaves through the British establishment -- prime ministers of both the Conservative and Labour parties were shown to have been close to News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and his senior staff.

Read More News Corp exec and PM's aide had affair: Prosecution

Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson
Oli Scarff | Getty Images
Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson

Brooks' husband, racehorse trainer Charlie, was also cleared of any attempt to hinder the police investigation while her personal assistant Cheryl Carter, was cleared of conspiring to pervert the course of justice -- as was News International's ex-security chief, Mark Hanna.

Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner was found not guilty of conspiring to hack voicemails.

Sentencing will occur at a later date.

A spokesperson for News UK said: "We said long ago, and repeat today, that wrongdoing occurred, and we apologized for it. We have been paying compensation to those affected and have cooperated with investigations."

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