Rebekah Brooks: News of the World paid Max Clifford 'millions and millions'

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, from Oxfordshire, has explained why the paper previously sought to stop private investigator Glenn Mulcaire naming names of journalists involved in phone-hacking.

Giving evidence for a seventh day at the hacking trial, Brooks was questioned about a civil liability case involving convicted hacker Mulcaire and the tabloid's publisher News Group Newspapers in 2010.

Jurors were taken through emails sent between the paper's lawyers and its senior management, including Brooks, which referred to a proposed order which would lead to all the reporters to whom Mulcaire had passed information being identified.

Brooks, 45, told the court: "We were opposing that order – again this is in the context of a civil liability – on the basis that he was an unreliable witness going forward naming names, and both financially and reputationally we didn't want that to happen.

"The view was that he could say anyone or anything."

During questioning from her lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw QC, Brooks was asked about Max Clifford, who was also involved in the civil case.

Brooks, who became chief executive of News International in 2009, said she had worked with the publicist since she was 25 or 26, with the News of the World paying him "millions and millions of pounds" for stories over the years.

But she added that he fell out with the paper and went on to work with its rival publications. Brooks, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, denies conspiring to hack phones, conspiring to commit misconduct in public office and conspiring to cover up evidence to pervert the course of justice.

All seven defendants deny the charges against them.

Mulcaire was jailed in January 2007 for unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages received by royal aides.

Brooks told the court that she had personally negotiated a £200,000-per-year verbal agreement for a "successful commercial relationship" with Clifford so that he would drop civil proceedings against News International.

The deal, brokered in February 2010, brought the PR guru back to work with The Sun and the News of the World again after he was banned for "three or four years".

Clifford demanded that the confidential agreement reflect losses he had incurred because of his ban at News International being public knowledge, the court heard.

"He felt that having News International out of the bidding picture, and the Mail Group and Mirror Group knowing that, he had lost out but it was impossible to quantify how much," Brooks said.

"It was unquantifiable but I felt it was true that Max had lost out so the deal had to reflect those three years he hadn't worked with NGN (News Group Newspapers)."

Asked if News International had also picked up the bill for Mr Clifford's legal fees, she said: "I believe so."

Jurors heard that there were 90 million emails sent and received within News International up to 2011 but before June 2005 the company had no email archiving system.

Once one was activated, users were able to choose to opt out, meaning there were 11,833 users by 2011, with 7,427 having disabled it, Mr Laidlaw said.

The court heard that Brooks had not opted to use the archiving system but did not recall choosing to do this.

She said that she managed her emails herself with any that she did not delete remaining in her inbox as far as she was aware.

She told jurors: "It had a sidebar so you could put group emails in like 'mum'."

Brooks said the company's IT system could be unreliable and the computers would often "freeze".

Jurors also heard that between December 2007 and August 2010 10.36 million emails were "purged or deleted" from the system and were irrecoverable, while a further 4.8 million were later lost.

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