Police Never Found Up to 10 Phones, Tablets Used by Brooks

Police investigating phone hacking and bribery at News Corp. publications were never able to recover as many as 10 phones and tablet computers used by Rebekah Brooks, prosecutors said.

Brooks, the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, had registered three BlackBerry phones, an HTC Desire, two iPhones and at least two iPads that have never been located by police, Andrew Edis, the prosecution lawyer, told a London jury today.

Prosecutors say the 45-year-old Brooks, her husband, and two News Corp. employees conspired to hide evidence at the height of the phone-hacking scandal in July 2011. She is also one of four former News Corp. journalists that are on trial for intercepting voice-mail messages and bribing public officials.

Police asked Apple Inc., News Corp.’s U.K. unit and various phone providers for product information and data usage in a bid to track down the devices, Edis said. Most of the phones belonged to News Corp. and were disconnected in September 2011.

There may have been fewer than nine electronic devices unaccounted for, Edis said. One of the iPhones may have been a duplication on the prosecution list and one iPad may have been lost, he said. Another tablet may have belonged to a guest at Brooks’s home who logged onto the wireless network.

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