11/04/2013 10:22 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Andy Coulson Denies Phone Hacking Charges: Lawyer


LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson, on trial accused of phone-hacking offences, admits things went wrong under his editorship of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World but did not commit any crimes, his lawyer said on Monday.

Coulson, who was Cameron's head of communications until 2011, was never party to any phone-hacking, lawyer Timothy Langdale told the jury at the Old Bailey, England's central criminal court.

"He wished he had made some different decisions and although he might wish he had made some different decisions he did not commit these offences," Langdale said.

Coulson is accused of conspiracy to hack phones and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office by authorising payment to a police officer for telephone directories of members of Britain's royal household.

He is on trial with Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Murdoch's British newspaper arm News International, and six others.

Langdale said it was unusual for the defence to make a statement before the prosecution produced its evidence but he said Coulson's team thought there were good reasons to do so.

He said Coulson's role at the News of the World was far-reaching and that he could not be expected to know about every story in the paper.

Coulson, he added, had also had his phone hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for the News of the World.

"Both a conspirator and victim at the same time? The two things do not sit easily together do they," he told the jury.



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