Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Coulson denies hacking conspiracy

Andy Coulson appeared at Southwark Crown Court to deny three charges
Andy Coulson appeared at Southwark Crown Court to deny three charges

David Cameron's former spin doctor has appeared in court to formally deny charges of conspiracy relating to phone hacking and alleged illegal payments to public officials.

Andy Coulson, 45, from south-east London, appeared at Southwark Crown Court to face three charges.

The former editor of the now-defunct News of the World pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiring with others to intercept mobile phone voicemail messages between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006. He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

The two charges allege that Coulson conspired with the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman - who on Wednesday also denied both counts - and others between August 31, 2002, and January 31, 2003, and also between January 31, 2005, and June 3, 2005.

Coulson was given bail as his case was adjourned.

His not guilty pleas came a day after former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband stood side by side in the dock as they formally denied charges of conspiracy linked to the phone hacking scandal.

In front of a packed courtroom at Southwark Crown Court, Mrs Brooks, 45, entered not guilty pleas to five counts linked to an alleged conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Former Sun and News of the World editor Brooks, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, denied conspiracy to hack phones between October 3 2000, and August 9 2006.

Former News of the World news editor James Weatherup, 57, from Brentwood, Essex, and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, also denied the charge.

Brooks also denied two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, one between January 1 2004 and January 31 2012, and a second between February 9 2006, and October 16 2008. She also pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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