Andy Coulson Pleads Not Guilty to Phone-Hacking, Corruption Charges

Phone Hacking
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

In April 2011, attorneys for the phone-hacking victims alleged that as many as 7,000 people had their phones tapped into by the NOTW employees who had hired private investigators, starting in 2006, to access the mobile accounts of celebrities, athletes, politicians and other people of interest. Then, in 2007 the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to illegal interception of personal communication. Today, the paper's parent company News Corp. announced it would close the 168-year-old publication (its last printing will be July 10). News Corp. deputy CEO James Murdoch also admitted to paying out-of-court settlements amidst reports that some of the phones that had been hacked belonged to the family members of deceased war. The same day, former NOTW editor Andy Coulson was informed of his impending Friday arrest.

The former editor of the "News of the World" and former communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron, entered his pleas on three charges.

LONDON -- Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World and British Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications director, on Thursday pleaded not guilty to one phone-hacking charge and two corruption-related charges.

One charge related to allegations that he was part of a conspiracy to hack phones while working at the now-defunct News of the World, which was part of the News International U.K. newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

STORY: Rebekah Brooks Pleads Not Guilty to All Phone-Hacking, Corruption Charges

The other two charges related to allegations of conspiring to commit "misconduct in public office." They came as part of an investigation into public officials who accepted money from journalists in return for contact information or scoops.

Coulson appeared here in Southwark Crown Court a day after former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks and other defendants also pleaded not guilty to phone-hacking and related charges, including charges of conspiring to "pervert the course of justice."

STORY: U.K. Phone Hacking: Rebekah Brooks's Former Bodyguard Charged

The trials against Coulson, Brooks and others are expected to start in September.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: georgszalai