Hacking Trial: ‎Andy Coulson Prosecution Not Fair or Rigorous, Lawyer Says

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Andy Coulson

The former "News of the World" editor and ex-communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron has faced questionable witnesses, he argued among other things.

LONDON – The lawyer for former News of the World editor Andy Coulson on Wednesday argued in the phone-hacking trial here that his defendant has not been prosecuted in a fair or rigorous way, The Guardian reported.

The police investigation and prosecution failed to be "rigorous, open-minded or fair," with the prosecution using "thoroughly unreliable" witnesses and witnesses with an agenda of their own, it quoted the lawyer as saying.

Given the high-profile nature of the phone-hacking investigation, the process should have been rigorous, open-minded and fair, he argued. "We suggest that as far as Andy Coulson is concerned, it has been none of those things," his lawyer said. "It's almost as if the juggernaut of police investigation and this prosecution must keep moving whatever legitimate obstacles are thrown in its path, but you don't have to be swept along with it."

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As an example of the unfair treatment of Coulson, who also used to be in charge of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron, the lawyer cited the prosecution's use of a self-confessed hacker as a witness, calling him "inaccurate" and "dishonest," according to The Guardian.

Coulson's lawyer also argued that the prosecution has failed to provide email evidence that Coulson knew that phone-hacking happened under his stewardship of the News of the World beyond an email in which he told someone to "do" a person's phone. The prosecution argued this comment related to the hacking of a TV personality before changing its case when the evidence was challenged, according to The Guardian.

Coulson's lawyer also suggested that prosecutor Andrew Edis would make running for a bus "look sinister," the paper reported.

Coulson is a defendant in the trial along with former News of the World chief Rebekah Brooks and several others.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai