Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson Detained on Perjury Suspicion

Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATED: The former head of the shuttered paper, which was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and has been at the center of the phone hacking scandal, is expected to be questioned about his testimony in a 2010 trial.

LONDON - Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was detained on suspicion of committing perjury dating back to a 2010 trial in Scotland, in which he testified, Scottish TV network STV reported Wednesday.

Coulson ran the now-shuttered tabloid that was part of the News International U.K. newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. that has been at the center of the phone hacking scandal. He is also a former director of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Coulson was picked up at his London home by Strathclyde Police officers early Wednesday morning, was later formally arrested and charged before being released from police custody. He is expected to be questioned, STV said.

STV cited a police spokeswoman as saying early in the day: "Officers acting for Strathclyde Police Operation Rubicon detained a 44-year-old man in London this morning…on suspicion of committing perjury at the High Court in Glasgow." But she said it would be "inappropriate" to comment further.

Coulson was a witness in the perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan in late 2010. Sheridan had been jailed for three years for lying under oath during his defamation process against the News of the World in 2006, in which he was awarded £200,000 ($311,000) in damages.

Coulson last year was arrested for questioning about the phone hacking case and a scandal involving payments to public officials. Earlier this month, he appeared in front of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics.


Twitter: @georgszalai