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News Corp. Hired Private Eye 500 Times as Brooks Was Editor

Former journalists at News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid hired a private eye, who was later convicted for hacking voice mails, more than 500 times during the time Rebekah Brooks was editor of the weekly newspaper.

Greg Miskiw, one of the former reporters, instructed Glenn Mulcaire on 407 occasions between 2000 and 2003, Detective Constable Nicholas Oskiewicz said at a London trial today. There’s evidence that Mulcaire may have hacked or prepared to hack phones on 12 of those times, the officer said.

Brooks, who later became the chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, is one of seven people at the three-month-old trial charged with offenses related to hacking, bribing public officials and destruction of evidence.

Neville Thurlbeck, a former chief reporter at the News of the World, used Mulcaire 135 times over the same period, Oskiewicz said. There isn’t any evidence indicating he requested phone hacking, the detective said.

Thurlbeck, Miskiw and Mulcaire pleaded guilty last year to phone-hacking charges. Mulcaire was also convicted and imprisoned for phone hacking in 2007.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of New York-based News Corp., closed the News of the World in July 2011 after the discovery that the newspaper accessed the voice mails of a murdered schoolgirl years earlier.

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