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Saturday 18 November 2017

Rebekah Brooks 'told PA to move notebooks'

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Downing Street's former director of communications and former News Of The World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks (R) arrives at the Old Bailey with her husband Charlie Brooks (L) for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, from Oxfordshire, instructed her personal assistant to remove seven boxes of notebooks from the company's archive that have "never been seen again", a jury has heard.

Brooks, 45, is accused of conspiring with Cheryl Carter to pervert the course of justice by taking the documents while the police were investigating allegations of phone hacking and payments to public officials.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told jurors at the Old Bailey that the material, said to be Brooks' notebooks from 1995 to 2007, has never been recovered.

He told the nine women and three men: "Nothing like that has ever been recovered in the course of this inquiry."

Earlier the court was told that in 2011 the situation for News International became "more fevered" as the firm came under investigation by police after it handed over three emails linked to phone hacking and payment claims, and amid renewed media interest in the allegations.

Mr Edis said: "This was a huge business for News International and for her (Brooks). There were inquiries ongoing. At all times she was of course aware that there was a police inquiry, Operation Weeting, which had in fact started when News International handed over these three emails.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Downing Street's former director of communications and former News Of The World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Cheryl Carter (C), former personal assistant to Rebekah Brooks, arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks (R) arrives at the Old Bailey with her husband Charlie Brooks (L) for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 4, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Cheryl Carter, former personal assistant to Rebekah Brooks, arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Timothy Langdale QC (C), representing Andy Coulson, arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Clive Goodman, former News of the World royal editor, arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Mark Hanna, former head of security at News International, arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson (C) arrives at the Old Bailey for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey with her husband Charlie Brooks (L) for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey with her husband Charlie Brooks (L) for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey with her husband Charlie Brooks (L) for the phone-hacking conspiracy trial on November 1, 2013 in London, England. Downing Street's former director of communications and News Of The World editor Andy Coulson and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, along with six others, face a series of charges linked to phone hacking celebrities and those in the news at the now-defunct newspaper. A six year affair, believed to have begun in 1998 between Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson was revealed yesterday in court. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

"So there was always a course of justice in existence that could be perverted by hiding evidence.

"Hiding evidence was not acceptable at any time that year.

"The atmosphere, we would suggest, became even more fevered as time went on."

He added: "You can imagine the extremely anxious, if not panic-stricken approach to what was going on."

The court was told that, while planning to move offices, News International came up with a new policy on deleting emails, aiming to clear the archive initially before a date in 2007, but this was then brought forward to 2010.

Mr Edis said: "We suggest that that shows Mrs Brooks may have had a personal interest in this email deletion policy - both to the date of the cut-off (point) and her own personal emails - also that it should be got on with.

"This is all going on in the context of the Guardian having published its article (on phone hacking) in the summer of 2009.

"We suggest that that is some evidence that Mrs Brooks was keen to get rid of material that related to her activities when she was editor, first of the News of the World, then of The Sun."

Jurors were also read a memo that Brooks sent to staff on July 5 2011, following the Guardian's allegations of hacking murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone.

She wrote: "We were all appalled and shocked when we heard about these allegations yesterday.

"It was sickening that these events are alleged to have happened, not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time... But if the allegations are true, the devastating effects on Milly Dowler's family are unforgivable.

"I am determined that News International does everything it can to co-operate fully (with the police investigation)."

She added: "It is almost too horrific to believe that a professional journalist or even a freelance inquiry agent working on behalf of a member of News of the World staff could behave in this way.

"I can promise the strongest possible action will be taken."

Mr Edis told the court that there is no evidence to back up previous claims that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire had deleted voicemails from the teenager's phone.

He said: "Milly Dowler's mother, when she called her daughter's phone, heard a different message and she thought that meant she might be still alive. It was alleged that was the result of the deletion of voicemails by the phone hacker from her phone. There is no evidence for that at all. No evidence that Mr Mulcaire ever deleted any voicemails from Milly Dowler's phone."

Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; Coulson, also 45, from Charing in Kent; former NotW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south west London; and the tabloid's ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, all deny conspiring with others to hack phones between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006.

Former NotW and Sun editor Brooks is also accused of two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office - one between January 1 2004 and January 31 2012 and the other between February 9 2006 and October 16 2008 - linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.

She faces another two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - one with her former personal assistant Carter, 49, from Chelmsford in Essex, between July 6 and 9 2011; and a second with her husband, Charles Brooks, and former head of security at News International, Mark Hanna, and others between July 15 and July 19 2011.

Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with former NotW royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and other unknown people to commit misconduct in public office - between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and between January 31 and June 3 2005.

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