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Ex-News Corp. Editors Appear in U.K. Court on Hacking Charge

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Neil Wallis and Jules Stenson, former editors at News Corp.’s News of the World, appeared at a London court today for the first time to face allegations of hacking into mobile-phone voice mails.

The pair, who only spoke to confirm their names, had their case transferred to London’s Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, for a hearing on Sept. 8.

Wallis and Stenson are the most senior ex-News Corp. journalists to appear in court since former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted in June of phone hacking. Coulson was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, and four others were acquitted of bribery, obstruction of justice and intercepting voice mails at the eight-month trial.

Stenson was the former features editor of the weekly tabloid and Wallis the deputy editor between January 2003 and January 2007, when the alleged phone hacking happened, U.K. prosecutors said in July.

Anthony France, the crime correspondent at News Corp.’s Sun newspaper, also appeared in court today on charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office. France is accused of paying bribes to a police officer between March 2008 and July 2011 and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office between July 2009 and August 2009.

Ryan Sabey, a former News of the World reporter who now works at the Sun, and a former soldier, Paul Brunt, were also at the hearing to face charges of conspiring together to commit misconduct in public office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lindsay Fortado at lfortado@bloomberg.net Eddie Buckle

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