Rebekah Brooks’s former personal assistant was told by News Corp. employees to remove seven boxes of notebooks from the company archive at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, her lawyer said.
Cheryl Carter, 49, denies allegations that she took the boxes to hide evidence from police, Trevor Burke, her lawyer, said today. Carter has stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Brooks for 16 years, the pair are like “sisters” and “adore each other,” he said.
Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, and Carter are accused of perverting the course of justice as the phone-hacking scandal engulfed the News of the World tabloid.
“You cannot convict one of them and acquit the other,” Burke said as he started Carter’s defense arguments at the five-month-old trial. “The long and the short of it is Rebekah and Cheryl stand or fall together.”
Company Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World tabloid in July 2011 in a bid to defuse a scandal over the hacking of a missing schoolgirl’s phone. Carter and Brooks are among seven people facing various charges connected to wrongdoing at News Corp.
The jury was told today that Clive Goodman’s defense case had been put on hold as he is suffering from poor health. The former News of the World royal reporter is charged with paying public officials bribes in exchange for stories.
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