Jury sworn in for UK phone hacking case



LONDON // Nine women and three men were sworn in as a jury yesterday to hear Britain’s tabloid phone hacking trial – and warned by the judge to ignore a morass of “inaccurate and misleading” reports about the high-profile case.

Two former senior executives in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire – former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson – and six others face charges stemming from the revelation that employees at the Murdoch-owned tabloid eavesdropped on the phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians, crime victims and others in their search for scoops. They all deny the charges.

The scandal led Mr Murdoch to shut the 168-year-old newspaper and continues to shake Britain’s media, police and political establishments.

Judge John Saunders told the jury at London’s Central Criminal Court that the case had received “an unprecedented amount” of publicity that they must ignore in order to try the defendants on the evidence alone.

“Not only the defendants are on trial; British justice is on trial,” he said.

Mr Saunders said much commentary on the case in the UK had been “inaccurate and misleading” as well as “offensive and demeaning to some of the defendants”.

“It is essential that you put all that material ... out of your mind,” he said.

The judge also told the jury to ignore the storm of chatter about the case, from tweets from opinionated celebrities to the satirical magazine Private Eye, which emblazoned a picture of the flame-haired Ms Brooks on the cover of its latest “Halloween special” issue.

“It is meant to be satire,” he told the jury. “You ignore it.

“It is the verdict of you 12, and only you 12, that we want at the end of this trial,” he said.

The eight defendants were told to stand in the dock as the seven-count indictment was read against them. Prosecution lawyer Andrew Edis is due to begin his case today, outlining in detail the allegations of criminal activity by the former media high-flyers.

The case – expected to last up to six months – is the first major criminal trial spawned by the 2011 revelation that the News of the World had hacked the mobile phone voicemails of kidnapped 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

Ms Brooks, 45, edited both the News of the World and its sister paper, The Sun, and was chief executive of Mr Murdoch’s British newspaper division. Mr Coulson, 45, also edited the News of the World before becoming communications chief to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Both face charges of conspiring to intercept communications – phone hacking – and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, which refers to illegal payments to officials.

Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner and former news editor Ian Edmondson also are charged with phone hacking – in conjunction with Ms Brooks, Mr Coulson and others – over a period stretching from 2000 to 2006.

The paper’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman, is charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office alongside Mr Coulson.

Brooks, her husband Charles Brooks, her former assistant Cheryl Carter and former News International security chief Mark Hanna are charged with attempting to obstruct the phone hacking investigation by withholding documents, computers and other equipment from police.

The phone-hacking scandal spurred a media-ethics inquiry led by a judge and wide-ranging criminal investigations into hacking, bribery and other illegal behaviour.

Dozens of journalists and officials have been arrested, and Britain’s free-wheeling press is under intense political pressure to submit to tougher regulation.

*Associated Press

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Company profile

Company name: Nestrom

Started: 2017

Co-founders: Yousef Wadi, Kanaan Manasrah and Shadi Shalabi

Based: Jordan

Sector: Technology

Initial investment: Close to $100,000

Investors: Propeller, 500 Startups, Wamda Capital, Agrimatico, Techstars and some angel investors

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

5 of the most-popular Airbnb locations in Dubai

Bobby Grudziecki, chief operating officer of Frank Porter, identifies the five most popular areas in Dubai for those looking to make the most out of their properties and the rates owners can secure:

• Dubai Marina

The Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence are popular locations, says Mr Grudziecki, due to their closeness to the beach, restaurants and hotels.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh482 to Dh739 
Two bedroom: Dh627 to Dh960 
Three bedroom: Dh721 to Dh1,104

• Downtown

Within walking distance of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the famous fountains, this location combines business and leisure.  “Sure it’s for tourists,” says Mr Grudziecki. “Though Downtown [still caters to business people] because it’s close to Dubai International Financial Centre."

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh497 to Dh772
Two bedroom: Dh646 to Dh1,003
Three bedroom: Dh743 to Dh1,154

• City Walk

The rising star of the Dubai property market, this area is lined with pristine sidewalks, boutiques and cafes and close to the new entertainment venue Coca Cola Arena.  “Downtown and Marina are pretty much the same prices,” Mr Grudziecki says, “but City Walk is higher.”

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh524 to Dh809 
Two bedroom: Dh682 to Dh1,052 
Three bedroom: Dh784 to Dh1,210 

• Jumeirah Lake Towers

Dubai Marina’s little brother JLT resides on the other side of Sheikh Zayed road but is still close enough to beachside outlets and attractions. The big selling point for Airbnb renters, however, is that “it’s cheaper than Dubai Marina”, Mr Grudziecki says.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh422 to Dh629 
Two bedroom: Dh549 to Dh818 
Three bedroom: Dh631 to Dh941

• Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's proximity to luxury resorts is attractive, especially for big families, says Mr Grudziecki, as Airbnb renters can secure competitive rates on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh503 to Dh770 
Two bedroom: Dh654 to Dh1,002 
Three bedroom: Dh752 to Dh1,152 

RESULTS

5pm: Maiden | Dh80,000 |  1,600m
Winner: AF Al Moreeb, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap |  Dh80,000 |  1,600m
Winner: AF Makerah, Adrie de Vries, Ernst Oertel

6pm: Handicap |  Dh80,000 |  2,200m
Winner: Hazeme, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle

6.30pm: Handicap |  Dh85,000 |  2,200m
Winner: AF Yatroq, Brett Doyle, Ernst Oertel

7pm: Shadwell Farm for Private Owners Handicap |  Dh70,000 |  2,200m
Winner: Nawwaf KB, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) |  Dh100,000 |  1,600m
Winner: Treasured Times, Bernardo Pinheiro, Rashed Bouresly

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Milkman by Anna Burns

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Circe by Madeline Miller

RIDE ON

Director: Larry Yang

Stars: Jackie Chan, Liu Haocun, Kevin Guo

Rating: 2/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Dr Amal Khalid Alias revealed a recent case of a woman with daughters, who specifically wanted a boy.

A semen analysis of the father showed abnormal sperm so the couple required IVF.

Out of 21 eggs collected, six were unused leaving 15 suitable for IVF.

A specific procedure was used, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where a single sperm cell is inserted into the egg.

On day three of the process, 14 embryos were biopsied for gender selection.

The next day, a pre-implantation genetic report revealed four normal male embryos, three female and seven abnormal samples.

Day five of the treatment saw two male embryos transferred to the patient.

The woman recorded a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. 

Water waste

In the UAE’s arid climate, small shrubs, bushes and flower beds usually require about six litres of water per square metre, daily. That increases to 12 litres per square metre a day for small trees, and 300 litres for palm trees.

Horticulturists suggest the best time for watering is before 8am or after 6pm, when water won't be dried up by the sun.

A global report published by the Water Resources Institute in August, ranked the UAE 10th out of 164 nations where water supplies are most stretched.

The Emirates is the world’s third largest per capita water consumer after the US and Canada.

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 171 points
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP) 151
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-GP) 136
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) 107
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 83
6. Sergio Perez (Force India) 50
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 45
8. Esteban Ocon (Force India) 39
9. Carlos Sainz (Torro Rosso) 29
10. Felipe Massa (Williams) 22

New Zealand squad

Tim Southee (capt), Trent Boult (games 4 and 5), Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (games 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5


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