Police were last night still holding a laptop, an iPad and paperwork that were dumped two weeks ago in a bin near the riverside home of Rebekah Brooks.
Two briefcases containing the items were found in a plastic sack on 18 July among rubbish in an underground car park at Chelsea Harbour in west London, where Ms Brooks lives in an apartment with her husband, Charlie.
The bag was found by binmen before Mr Brooks tried to claim it back, but a security guard refused because he could not prove that he owned its contents.
Instead, the guard called police who took the equipment away.
Met detectives last week contacted Mr Brooks to demand passwords for the computer so they could examine its contents to establish whether it contained anything relevant to their inquiry into criminality at News International.
Mr Brooks said a close friend had accidentally left the objects in the car park when he should have dropped them off and that they must have been placed in the bin by a cleaner.
The incident came 24 hours after Ms Brooks, the former News International chief executive, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corrupting police officers.
Mr Brooks' spokesman said yesterday that police were planning to hand back the items, although this could not be confirmed by police sources.Reuse content