The former managing editor at News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid told police in 2011 that he was “appalled” by allegations that he approved bribes or hacked phones.
Stuart Kuttner denied any knowledge or involvement in phone hacking or the bribery of public officials in a 2011 U.K. police interview read out in court by prosecution lawyers today. He also said the newspaper didn’t have a culture of getting a “story at any cost.”
The 73-year-old Kuttner is among seven people on trial in London over wrongdoing at News Corp. publications. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in July 2011 in an attempt to contain a scandal over revelations that the tabloid had hacked the phone of a missing teenager.
“I have never knowingly bribed a policeman, which appears to be among your allegations,” Kuttner said in the August 2011 interview. “I have never knowingly played any part in the hacking or bugging of anybody’s telephone and I am shocked at the events of today.”
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both former News of the World editors, face phone-hacking and bribery charges in the case.
Kuttner told police he “had a good working relationship,” with Brooks, who served as the head of News Corp.’s U.K. unit until the phone-hacking scandal erupted. She is “intuitively strong” and “a very able newspaper woman,” he said in the interview.
The trial, which is scheduled to last until mid-April, will break for Christmas on Dec. 19 and resume Jan. 6.