Although most of the world considers words like "hacking" and "Snowden" to be part of everyday vernacular in 2014, there was a time not that long ago when hacking was not such an everyday experience. Despite this, three of the world's most famous "targets" fell victim to conspiracy and an egregious breach of privacy that eventually ended up shutting down one of the biggest tabloid newspapers in the world. On May 19 MSN News UK revealed some shocking details that came up this week in the trial over the infamous Royal hacking of the world's most famous couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The hacking dates back to 2005 and 2006 when Prince William was courting the lovely Kate Middleton. Although the hacking charges were addressed in court in 2007, the charges of conspiracy to intercept communications are currently being faced in the UK courts. MSN News reports that 7 individuals are currently facing conspiracy charges, and testimony this week revealed some startling confessions about the Royal hacking scandal.
Until now, all of those accused have not admitted to hacking the royal family. Yesterday MSN News UK reported that the former editor of the News of the World tabloid, Clive Goodman, finally admitted to it and testified that the voicemails of Prince William were hacked 35 times, Prince Harry's voicemail was hacked 9 times, and the future Duchess of Cambridge's voicemails were hacked a total of 155 times.
The Guardian reported on May 19 that Goodman has already stood trial and served time in 2007 for the charges of hacking, but this time around faces charges of conspiracy, which are much more serious charges. In defense of his actions, he testified during his trial this week that the police simply never asked him whether or not he had intentionally targeted members of the royal family.
The Guardian reports he testified with the statement, "I have been as open and honest about hacking as I can be. Nobody has asked me any questions about this before."
Previously during the trial testimony, it was reported that the nickname Prince William had for Kate, "Babykins" was revealed during the hacking expedition. Other information taken from the hacking records showed that Prince William told Kate Middleton at one point that he had almost been shot at with blanks. Goodman also testified that it was 2005 when Kate Middleton became a first target, due to the fact that she was "a figure of increasing importance around the Royal Family."
Goodman also testified that during his hacking, he picked up information about the couple marrying, settling down. "She started to receive semi royal status and things were moving on."
Goodman is not the only News of the World party that is facing charges of conspiracy, 6 others are also facing charges. In addition to Goodman, former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, reporter Andy Coulson, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are also facing charges.
The hacking scandal that shut down Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid did not exclude their victims to the Royal Family. Other hacking victims include celebrities, politicians, and a kidnapped 13-year-old girl. The accused are denying all charges.
The charges that reporter Andy Coulson faces include hacking, in addition to conspiracy to pay detective Glenn Mulcaire to do his dirty work with Royal aides from the period of Fall 2005 to Spring 2006. Prosecutor Andrew Edis for the State provided phone records as evidence to show that Kate Middleton's voicemails were first hacked on December 21, 2005, while Prince William's were first hacked on January 29, 2006.
According to MSN News UK, Goodman claimed that he felt "astonished and surprised" after discovering that Mulcaire had been able to access Kate Middleton's voicemail. The State didn't buy it, with Edis cross-examining Goodman with questions like, "You would never have gone anywhere near targets of that degree of sensitivity without the authorization of the editor."
Goodman replied that he and Coulson never had that conversation. Goodman also testified that Kate Middleton was never the issue, that instead what was discussed between he and Coulson was something called The Alexander Project.
The Alexander Project was a hacking project for royal aides Helen Asprey, Paddy Harverson, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. Goodman also referred to the Kate Middleton voicemails as simply "flourishes" suggesting he was just showing off to illustrate what he was capable of.
Edis pressed Goodman for more information as to why he lied previously regarding the hacking charges. Goodman insisted to the State that he did not lie, he was confused about what the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) meant when CPS told him he would not face any additional charges beyond the hacking. Now, Goodman faces charges of conspiring with Coulson and others to "commit misconduct in public office."
Andy Coulson also faces additional charges of conspiring with Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor for News of the World. The Crown has told the jury that, "Our aim is that you will retire to consider your verdicts on Monday June 9."
This is the first that news has come out that one party has admitted to the hacking of the royal family members Kate Middleton, Prince William, and also Prince Harry. In Goodman's previous trial where he was convicted of hacking the phones of Royal aides Paddy Harverson, Helen Asprey, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, he would not admit to the hacking of the Royals themselves.
Oklahoma News6 reports that Goodman testified that the reason he did not admit to the actual hacking then was because he thought the CPS was "ringfencing" the investigation in order to avoid embarrassment for the Royal Family, who were already embarrassed enough. Now the truth comes out.
The charges of hacking themselves carry a sentence of up to 2 years, which the accused has already served. The 7 members involved in the News of the World Royal hacking scandal currently face charges of conspiracy which are much more serious due to the nature of money changing hands during the act of the crime. If the accused are found guilty, the charges carry a life sentence.