Wednesday 28 September 2016

Former NOTW editor Andy Coulson cleared of perjury

Published 03/06/2015 | 10:48

Andy Coulson arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh, where he is on trial accused of lying under oath in the 2010 perjury trial of ex-Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 1, 2015. See PA story COURTS Coulson. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Andy Coulson arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh, where he is on trial accused of lying under oath in the 2010 perjury trial of ex-Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 1, 2015. See PA story COURTS Coulson. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been cleared of lying at the trial of former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan after the case against him collapsed.

  • Go To

Coulson, 47, had been on trial for around two weeks at the High Court in Edinburgh, where he denied committing perjury during the 2010 case in Glasgow.

Trial judge Lord Burns upheld a defence motion that Coulson, from Kent - a former director of communications for the Prime Minister - had no case to answer.

Delivering his ruling, Lord Burns said he had "sustained the arguments in favour of the accused" and told Coulson: "I acquit you of the charge."

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson leaving the High Court in Edinburgh where he has gone on trial accused of committing perjury. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 15, 2015. He is accused of lying under oath during the 2010 perjury trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan. Coulson, 47, former director of communications for David Cameron, denies the allegation against him. See PA story COURTS Coulson. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson leaving the High Court in Edinburgh where he has gone on trial accused of committing perjury. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 15, 2015. He is accused of lying under oath during the 2010 perjury trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan. Coulson, 47, former director of communications for David Cameron, denies the allegation against him. See PA story COURTS Coulson. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Andy Coulson, Brooks’ former colleague and lover who was recently released from jail

Read more here: Perjury trial of former NoTW editor Andy Coulson on hold as legal issues arise  

He gave his decision on Monday following two days of legal submissions from Mr Coulson's defence QC but it could not be reported until today as the Crown was given time to decide whether to appeal against the ruling.

Coulson was found guilty in June last year of conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid following a trial at the Old Bailey.

During the perjury trial, the Crown led evidence from several former journalists at the paper as they tried to build a picture of practices while Coulson was editor - a position he held from January 2003 until his resignation in January 2007.

Read more here: Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson goes on trial in Scotland on perjury charge  

But when the prosecution closed its case after seven days of evidence last Tuesday, Mr Coulson's legal team lodged a submission that there was no case to answer and among the arguments said the evidence alleged to be false in this case was not relevant to the then live issues - the charge of perjury in Mr Sheridan's trial.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

The prosecution case centred around what they alleged to be lies told by Coulson under oath at Mr Sheridan's trial more than four years ago.

Mr Sheridan was on trial for perjury at that stage and, while conducting his own defence, called Coulson as a witness over two days at the High Court in Glasgow in December 2010.

 Mr Sheridan's trial was in respect of evidence he gave in an earlier 2006 civil action.

Coulson's trial heard that, following publication of a series of articles in the News of the World, Mr Sheridan raised a defamation action in Scotland's Court of Session against the newspaper's publishers, News Group International.

The jury in the subsequent 2006 action decided that the politician had been defamed by the newspaper and it was ordered to pay him £200,000 in damages.

Mr Sheridan was jailed for three years in January 2011 after being found guilty of lying about the now-defunct tabloid's claims that he was an adulterer who visited a swingers club.

Prosecutors in the latest trial alleged that Coulson made false claims on December 9 and 10 2010 after being sworn in as a witness in Glasgow.

The charge against Coulson alleged he falsely stated that before the arrest of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and News of the World journalist Clive Goodman on August 8 2006, he did not know that Goodman was involved in phone hacking with Mr Mulcaire.

It claimed he falsely said he did not know that payments were made to Mr Mulcaire by Mr Goodman and he did not know of Mr Mulcaire's "illegal activities".

The Crown also alleged that Coulson was wrong when he said he did not have any email exchanges with Goodman in relation to Mr Mulcaire and falsely stated that he did not know of Mr Mulcaire, had not heard his name and did not know that he was employed by the tabloid.

Coulson pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him.

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News