UK & World News

  • 30 June 2014, 14:02

Coulson And Goodman To Face Bribery Retrial

The Prime Minister's former communications director Andy Coulson is facing further court action after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled he will face a retrial on charges he conspired to bribe public officials.

The 46-year-old, who was editor of the News Of The World until his resignation in 2007, will be tried alongside the Sunday tabloid's former royal editor Clive Goodman.

Last week a jury failed to reach verdicts on the two men, who the Crown alleges conspired together to pay royal protection police officers for copies of royal phone directories.

The prosecution in the eight-month-long Old Bailey trial claimed Coulson and Goodman wanted the phone directories for the purposes of phone hacking - charges both men deny.

However, the jury found Coulson guilty of conspiring with others to intercept voicemail communications (phone hacking).

His co-accused, former News Of The World editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, was found not guilty of phone hacking, as was the tabloid's former managing editor Stuart Kuttner.

Mrs Brooks was also cleared of other charges, that she attempted to bribe public officials for stories and attempted to pervert the course of justice by hiding evidence that may have been useful to Scotland Yard detectives investigating the phone hacking allegations.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said: "The CPS has taken the decision to proceed with the retrial."

Coulson was in court to hear the retrial decision, as his defence team prepare for two days of mitigation proceedings ahead of his sentencing on the phone hacking conviction on Friday.

He was joined in the dock by private detective Glenn Mulcaire and four former News Of The World journalists, who have all admitted their part in phone hacking at hearings before the trial began.

Mr Edis told the court: "Between them these defendants utterly corrupted this newspaper which became at the highest level a criminal enterprise."

He went on: "This was systemic misconduct approved and participated in by the editor himself."

Coulson and the other defendants face the prospect of up to two years behind bars.

In court alongside Coulson and Mulcaire are former colleagues Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup, who have all admitted their part in phone hacking.

A sixth defendant, former News Of The World reporter Dan Evans, was told he will be sentenced at a later date.

He testified during the trial and told the court he was hired by Coulson, in part because of his phone hacking skills.

He also claimed phone hacking was an "open secret" at the News Of The World, where "even the office cat knew about it".

Mr Edis told Monday's hearing he would be seeking court costs from the defendants totalling a combined sum of 750,000.

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