News World Rebekah Brooks returns as News Corp executive
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Rebekah Brooks returns as News Corp executive

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A high-profile employee who resigned at the height of the News Corp phone hacking scandal is set to return as a chief executive at the media company.

Rebekah Brooks formerly edited News Corp’s The Sun and the News of the World, but resigned after the paper was accused of illegally accessing voicemail messages in 2011.

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A lengthy court battle ensued, during which Brooks was charged with conspiracy to hack into phones, conspiracy to pay public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. She was cleared of all three last year.

She will return to News Corp on Monday, concerning some in the UK.

Britain’s shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant, a victim of News Of The World phone hacking, said her reappointment was an insult.

“Rupert Murdoch has just stuck two fingers up to the British public and the thousands of people whose phones were hacked by News International,” Mr Bryant said.

“Hundreds of ordinary journalists lost their jobs when Mr Murdoch closed the News Of The World, but it seems Rebekah Brooks is to get very special treatment.”

He labelled the appointment “ludicrously premature” when further investigations into the phone hacking scandal were ongoing.

Hacked Off joint executive director Evan Harris, head of an organisation that represents victims of phone hacking, said it was a “major misjudgement”.

But Ms Brooks said she was “delighted” to return to News Corp.

“I am confident that we can meet the many challenges of this digital age with a combination of cutting-edge technologies and world class journalism,” she said.

Brooks was initially reluctant to take the role but was persuaded by the Australian-born business magnate, with whom she has a close relationship, according to the Financial Times.

– with AAP, ABC

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