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Rebekah Brooks allegedly tried to hide evidence as paper closed

Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- An ex-News International leader conspired to hide her notebooks as News of the World prepared to close because of Britain's phone-hacking scandal, a jury heard.

Rebekah Brooks, then-chief executive of News of the World publisher News International, and her personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, are accused of trying to conceal seven boxes of Brooks' notebooks the day after it was announced that News of the World would cease operations and two days before its final edition. They deny the charges.

Eight people face charges linked to phone hacking scandal and alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis told jurors Monday the attempt to hide evidence occurred during the "fevered ... [and] ... anxious" days before the paper was closed in early July 2011, The Guardian reported. Edis said Brooks knew Scotland Yard reopened its investigation, Operation Weeting, into phone hacking in January 2011.

"There was always a course of justice in existence which could be perverted by hiding evidence. Hiding evidence was not acceptable at any time that year, but the atmosphere, we would suggest, became even more fevered as time went on," said Edis.

The jury heard how Carter, her son Nick, and Gary Keegan, husband of Brooks' other personal assistant Deborah Keegan, allegedly went to News International archives to collect seven boxes of notepads and took them to Carter's home.

The notebooks haven't been found, Edis said.

Carter also allegedly gave a false alibi to the police about where Brooks was on the day Brooks claimed she wasn't in the office, when phone records indicated they women were at News International's headquarters, The Guardian said.

"The false alibi was quite dishonest to cover what happened. Because she'd remember where the boss was on the Friday before the News of the World closed, wouldn't she?" Edis said.

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