Murdoch’s former editor found guilty of phone hacking
British prime minister David Cameron on Tuesday made a ‘full and frank’ apology after his former media chief Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking, saying it was a ‘wrong decision’ to hire him.
‘I am extremely sorry I employed him. It was the wrong decision,’ Cameron said.
‘I gave someone a second chance and it turned out to be a bad decision.’
He spoke after the ex-News of the World editor was found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006.
The same court acquitted former News International executive Rebekah Brooks of hacking charges.
Cameron appointed Coulson in 2007.
He took him into Downing Street in the same role after becoming prime minister in 2010, only for Coulson to resign in 2011 amid the raging row over phone hacking.
In a statement to the media after Tuesday’s verdicts, Cameron said he took ‘full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson’.
‘I did so on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turn out not be the case.
Earlier in the day, former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges but her ex-colleague Coulson was found guilty of phone hacking, bringing a dramatic end to the eight-month trial involving media baron Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire in the UK.
Coulson, 46, who edited the now defunct News of the World tabloid before becoming David Cameron’s official spokesperson, faces jail after the jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict against him at the Old Bailey court here. He was convicted of hacking phones between 2000 and 2006.
Brooks, 46, was found not guilty of four charges spanning an 11-year period at News International, including during her editorship of the NoW and The Sun.
Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police bribery, and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories.
The 168-year-old NoW shut down in disgrace in July 2011 amid a public outcry.