LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - A bag which prosecutors say Charlie Brooks, whose wife Rebekah ran Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper arm, tried to hide from police investigating phone-hacking allegations contained a magazine entitled “Lesbian Lovers”, a court heard on Wednesday.
The revelation from Charlie Brooks’ lawyer prompted laughter in London’s Old Bailey central criminal court which is in the 10th week of hearing allegations centred on senior figures from Murdoch’s News International.
One of the charges involves accusations Charlie and Rebekah Brooks and their security team arranged an elaborate plan to hide two bags containing computers and other material from detectives before they searched the couple’s London apartment.
The court heard the plan failed when the bags were found by cleaner Fernando Nascimento behind a bin in the flat’s underground parking lot.
During cross-examination to determine just what the bags had contained, Charlie Brooks’ lawyer Neil Saunders asked him if he had looked inside a padded envelope, saying it contained the Lesbian Lovers magazine and some DVDs whose titles were not disclosed.
“There wasn’t much writing in it,” Saunders said of the magazine, prompting laughs across the usually sombre courtroom.
“If I had seen it, maybe I would have taken it,” the cleaner replied through his translator when asked why he could not remember seeing the magazine.
Both Charlie and Rebekah Brooks deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by hiding material from detectives. Brooks also denies conspiracy to hack phones and authorising illegal payments to public officials.
Their trial and that of five others is expected to last until at least April.