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Rebekah Brooks drops multi-million pound bid for trial-costs refund

In a surprise move the former editor of the News of the World Rebekah Brooks has withdrawn her bid to recover up to £20m in legal fees from the phone-hacking trial.

Charlie and Rebekah Brooks

The Central Criminal Court was due to hear evidence on the application at noon today, however the presiding judge, Mr Justice Saunders, was told by lawyers for News UK, who had paid Brooks legal costs, that they had "not felt willing to engage in an exercise that would potentially re-examine the background to the hacking trial." Counsel continued that they therefore did not wish to proceed with the legal action or take any money "from the public purse."

Jonthan Laidlaw QC for Brooks, said that since she would be re-paying any costs she recovered to News UK there was no reason to proceed with her application which was then formally withdrawn.

Brooks' former PA Cheryl Carter, and security director Mark Hannah also withdrew their application for costs.

The court will now only consider the costs application made by her husband Charlie, whose legal bills were not paid by News UK and former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner who is claiming over £135,000 of personal legal costs.

Todays proceedings mark the formal end of Brooks involvement in the phone-hacking case after she was found not guilty at the end of the eight month trial.

More to follow.

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