A former editor of the News of the World's Scotland edition has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Bob Bird, 56, was charged yesterday after being detained by officers from Strathclyde Police over "conduct" in relation to the 2006 defamation action by former MSP Tommy Sheridan against the tabloid newspaper. He was detained in Glasgow by officers from the force's Operation Rubicon, which is investigating phone hacking, breaches of data protection and perjury.
Mr Sheridan won his defamation action against News of the World at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in 2006. He was awarded £200,000 in damages after the tabloid printed claims about his private life. Mr Bird gave evidence at the original defamation trial in 2006 and his perjury trial at the end of 2010.
Mr Sheridan was jailed for three years in January 2011 after being found guilty of lying about the now-defunct tabloid's claims that he was an adulterer. He was released from jail after serving a year of his sentence.
After being questioned, Mr Bird said: "I just want to say that I'm very sad, very disappointed, that things have come to this. I have always done my best to do the right thing throughout the 30-40 years of my journalistic career and I will be denying the charge against me." He is the third journalist to be charged in relation to the Sheridan trial.
Earlier this month, Douglas Wight, 39, a former news editor at the News of the World Scotland, was charged with perjury, conspiracy to hack phones and multiple charges of conspiracy to obtain others' personal data.