Hacking Trial Verdicts: U.K. Prime Minister 'Extremely Sorry' He Employed Andy Coulson

David Cameron - P 2012
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"It was the wrong decision," David Cameron says about the hiring of his former communications director ?in a "full and frank" apology.

LONDON – British‎ Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday issued what he called a "full and frank apology" to the country for having employed former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director.

Earlier in the day, Coulson was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy to hack phones in the hacking trial here. The jury is continuing to deliberate on two other charges against him that focus on alleged bribery of public officials.

Cameron in a statement to the media said he was taking “full responsibility” for Coulson's appointment, emphasizing that assurances he received when he brought him on staff have now proven to be false. 

The hire came based on assurances "I was given by him about phone hacking," Cameron said. “I always said that if they turned out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology and I did that today."

Cameron added: "I am extremely sorry that I employed him. It was the wrong decision, and I am very clear about that."

Coulson joined Cameron's staff in May 2010 following a first phone hacking scandal at the News of the World, which Coulson oversaw from 2003 through 2007. He left in Jan. 2011 amid continuing coverage of the case. 

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