Rebekah Brooks 'concealed' material from police, court told
Former NI chief executive ordered boxes of notebooks to be taken from archive prior to NotW closure
REBEKAH BROOKS was involved in a "deliberate effort" to conceal sensitive material from police in the "panic stricken" period prior to the closure of the News of the World, a court has heard.
Brooks, the former chief executive of News International (NI), and her secretary, Cheryl Carter, have been accused of trying to conceal seven boxes of notebooks taken from the NI archive in mid-2011, The Guardian reports. The phone hacking trial also heard allegations that Brooks had material taken from her two homes to prevent it coming into the possession of the police.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told jurors at the Old Bailey, that the material, believed to be Brooks's notebooks from 1995 to 2007, has never been recovered. "Nothing like that has ever been recovered in the course of this inquiry," he told the court.
Edis said the efforts by Brooks and Carter to remove material from the NI archive and Brooks's homes occurred during the "fevered" and "anxious" days before the News of the World shut its doors in July 2011. By then, he said, Brooks knew that she was likely to be arrested and that detectives would have powers to search her country house in Churchill, Oxfordshire, and her London flat, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Edis told the court: "Arrangements were made to remove material from both these addresses with a view to preventing material coming into the possession of the police."
On 8 July 2011, the day after it was announced that the News of the World was to close, Carter arranged to have the seven boxes of notepads removed from the NI archive in North London, the jury was told. The day was "significant", Edis said, because it was the day Andy Coulson, the former editor of the paper, was arrested.
"A media firestorm was about to engulf the News of the World, so you can imagine the extremely anxious if not panic-stricken approach that must have been going on," Edis told the jury.
All the defendants deny the charges against them. The trial, which is expected to last up to six months, continues. ·