It is hard to accept this evidence; an editor should know what their reporters are doing and an illegal act like phone hacking would require editorial approval, in my opinion. It is hard to accept that Mrs Brooks did not know about it as the information in the resulting story would raise questions about how it was sourced, and it would be the editor’s job to ensure those questions could be answered by reference to practices that are legal.
That being said, Mrs Brooks has already claimed that she ran a gauntlet of prejudice against her when she became an editor – much of it claiming that she was not competent to do the job. If this was true, then it’s possible she didn’t know about the hacking that was taking place on her watch, and didn’t understand that it was illegal (although the fact that it was perverting the course of justice – and this has been a crime for many, many years, should have given her cause for thought). In fact, there is information here to give any interested party cause for thought.