Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brooks 'Removed Material from Homes to Stop Police Finding It'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brooks 'Removed Material from Homes to Stop Police Finding It'

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Cheston and Justin Davenport

REBEKAH BROOKS mounted a coverup to hide evidence from the police when she knew she was likely to be arrested, the Old Bailey heard today.

Phone hacking allegations were increasing in the press and victims were taking out civil proceedings against the News of the World, the jury was told.

Brooks, who had previously been the editor of the NoW and the Sun, had been promoted to chief executive of the parent company News International in the summer of 2009.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said: "Brooks knew she was likely to be arrested and if she was the police would have the power to search her property."

She and her husband Charlie Brooks owned a country home in the Cotswolds and a London flat in Chelsea Harbour.

Mr Edis continued: "Arrangements were made to remove material from both those addresses with a view to preventing material coming into the possession of the police."

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford and Gordon Taylor, the head of the Professional Footballers' Association, were among prominent victims of phone hacking to have sued the NoW in the High Court.

Both the Guardian and the New York Times had published articles alleging that phone hacking at the NoW was more widespread than had been shown by the jailing of royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2007.

The court heard that the head of the Press Complaints Commission wrote to Brooks after the convictions of Mulcaire and Goodman seeking assurances about journalists' code of conduct.

Mr Edis said that by July 2009, following a Guardian story on the issue, Brooks was "well aware" that there was a serious inquiry into the phonehacking claims. In the late summer of 2010 questions were being asked about NI claims that only "a single rogue reporter" had hacked phones, the court heard. …

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