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Andy Coulson Pleads Not Guilty to Phone-Hacking Charges

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Former Editor of News Corp.’s News of the World Andy Coulson
Former editor of News Corp.’s News of the World Andy Coulson arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London. Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Andy Coulson, the former editor of News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid, pleaded not guilty to charges of phone hacking and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Coulson, a former media adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, entered the pleas at a court in London today. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiring with others to intercept voice-mail messages between Oct. 3, 2000, and Aug. 9, 2006. The 45-year-old also pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

The charges stem from separate London police investigations into phone hacking and alleged corrupt payments to public officials. A former news editor at the paper, Ian Edmondson, also pleaded not guilty to phone-hacking charges today.

Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, yesterday pleaded not guilty to phone hacking, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks and her former personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, denied they permanently removed seven boxes of material from News Corp.’s U.K. unit.

Brooks is also accused, along with six others, of hiding “documents, computers, and other electronic equipment,” from police during their investigations at News International into phone hacking and corruption of public officials, according to the indictment.

Two other former News of the World journalists, Stuart Kuttner and James Weatherup, also pleaded not guilty to phone-hacking charges yesterday.

A third, Clive Goodman, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Goodman was charged in the same count as Coulson.

A three-month trial is scheduled for September.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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