Prosecutors at the trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson have told the court that phone hacking took place at the News of the World and the people in charge of the purse-strings knew about it.
Andrew Edis QC for the prosecution told the Old Bailey that the prosecution would show that hacking went on at the now-defunct tabloid, and jurors would have to decide exactly who knew about it.
Mr Edis explained to the jury that the case involves three types of allegations arising from an investigation that revealed that the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was hacked and led to the closure of the News of the World.
He said the three types of allegations included, first, claims of phone hacking at the News of the World between 2000 and 2006 and, secondly, allegations that Sun and News of the World journalists paid public officials for information.
It is also alleged that Ms Brooks, along with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, conspired to pervert the course of justice by removing seven boxes of material from the News International archive, and that Ms Brooks, with her husband Charles Brooks and former head of security at News International Mark Hanna, committed the same offence by allegedly trying to obstruct the police.
The court was told that ex-chief correspondent Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant news editor James Weatherup,and ex-news editor Greg Miskiw had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept communications at earlier hearings.
Their guilty pleas, which had not previously been reportable, are the first public admissions by former News of the World journalists since police launched an inquiry in 2011 into allegations that staff on the Murdoch paper had hacked the phones of celebrities, politicians and victims of crime.
Celebrities including Kate Moss, Joanna Lumley and Will Young were named as some of the defendants' alleged victims of phone hacking.
Princes William and Harry's former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton also had his voicemail hacked, Mr Edis said.
He told jurors that tomorrow they would hear more about how 13 recordings of the royal's voicemails were discovered, along with information about hacking related to former home secretary David Blunkett.
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow when Mr Edis will continue his opening.