Guardian: Andy Coulson denies phone-hacking at Sheridan trial

Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson was yesterday forced to once again deny that as editor of the News of the World “he ordered reporters to ‘practise the dark arts’ by illegally hacking phones and ‘blagging’ confidential information”, according to the Guardian.

Coulson was giving evidence at the perjury trial of Tommy Sheridan, a timeline of which is available at the BBC.

Coming face-to-face with Sheridan – who is conducting his own defence – Coulson told the high court in Glasgow that he had no idea his newspaper had used private detectives to illegally “hack” phone messages from members of the royal family and other targets. He repeatedly denied promoting a “culture” of hacking and “blagging”, where people’s confidential data such as tax details, criminal records or phone bills were illegally accessed, in the NoW’s newsroom.

According to the Guardian report Coulson also denied knowing private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who, along with former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman, was convicted of conspiracy to intercept telephone calls in 2007.

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