A detective investigating phone hacking has been asked in court if police had conducted a “Carry On”-style search of Rebekah Brooks’s office on the day she resigned as News International chief executive.
Officers from the Metropolitan police’s Operation Weeting seized computers and other IT material from her office but did not search the cabinets in the area outside it where her secretaries kept her business and personal records.
Detective Constable Alan Pritchard told the court that officers had been confined in their search because of a prior arrangement with News International executive Simon Greenberg, a former head of communications and one of the members of the management standards committee.
“Mrs Brooks is removed, almost marched out of the building. This stuff is there when you arrive later that evening and not a bit of it recovered by the police?” Laidlaw said to Pritchard.
Pritchard replied that he was had no instruction to search the PAs’ files. “The area we had consent to search was her office and that was what the search was confined to.” He said he was not included in the arrangements made prior to the search and the correct person to question would be the head of Operation Weeting, Detective Superintendent Mark Ponting.
Asked by the prosecution who had made this arrangement with police, Pritchard replied: “Simon Greenberg”.
News International restricted the search area and, as a result, nothing was found.