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Six journalists in dock on phone hack charges

By Andy McSmith in London

Andy Coulson, David Cameron's former spin doctor, was among seven former 'News of the World' employees who saw their normal roles reversed yesterday as they sat together behind a glass panel in Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Yesterday the six journalists, together with the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, were in the dock, being stared at by a huge, curious throng of members of their old profession.

The journalists are accused of conspiring to hack the phones of as many as 600 people. In addition to the general charge of conspiracy, Mr Coulson, a former editor of the defunct tabloid, is accused of being implicated in targeting the phones of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, former British Labour Cabinet ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, and footballer George Best's son Calum.

Mr Mulcaire faces four individual charges, including the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone.

The other five accused are former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former head of news Ian Edmondson, former reporters Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup and former news editor Greg Miskiw.

The charge list took a clerk a full 20 minutes to get through it and was studded with famous names, including four cabinet ministers, as well as such household names as Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Paul McCartney.

The accused were remanded on bail to Southwark Crown Court on September 26.

(©Independent News Service)

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