Brooks Assistant Took Boxes at Peak of Scandal, Prosecutor Says

Rebekah Brooks’s personal assistant asked for seven boxes of notebooks belonging to her boss in News Corp. archives in July 2011, days before Brooks was arrested at the height of the U.K. phone-hacking scandal, prosecutors said.

Documents charting the ordering and delivery of the seven boxes for the assistant, Cheryl Carter, to collect were shown to jurors in London by prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron today.

Brooks, the 45-year-old former head of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, is one of seven people on trial over wrongdoing at the company’s publications in the country. Today was the first day that prosecutors focused on obstruction-of-justice charges after the first two months of the case concerned bribes to public officials and the interception of voice-mail messages.

The discovery on July 4, 2011, that a murdered school girl’s phone had been hacked in 2002 by the News of the World triggered public outrage that led News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch to close the tabloid newspaper.

The 49-year-old Carter, also standing trial for her part in the conspiracy, collected the boxes on July 8 saying that the notebooks belonged to her, Nick Mays, a News Corp. archivist, testified today.

Brooks’s husband and the U.K. unit’s former head of security, Mark Hanna, also face charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

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