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Report: Former News of the World editor charged with perjury

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 30, 2012 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
File photo of former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.
File photo of former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.
  • NEW: Andy Coulson charged with perjury, according to news agency
  • The former editor of News of the World became British PM David Cameron's spokesman
  • He was arrested separately by London police last year

London (CNN) -- A former editor of Rupert Murdoch's disgraced News of the World tabloid was arrested and charged with perjury over court testimony about phone hacking, according to the United Kingdom's Press Association.

Andy Coulson, 44, was held in connection with a Scottish police investigation into phone hacking and perjury at the trial of a politician, Tommy Sheridan, who had sued the News of the World.

The case is potentially deeply embarrassing for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired Coulson to run his communications team after Coulson resigned from the News of the World. Coulson no longer works for Cameron.

Earlier Wednesday, Scotland's Glasgow-based Strathclyde Police announced that they had detained a 44-year-old man in London on suspicion of perjury. They did not name him.

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At the high court in Glasgow in December 2010, Coulson denied under oath that he had ever met or spoken to a private detective employed by News of the World to hack phones, according to British press reports at the time.

Coulson quit when a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, and the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, were sent to prison in 2007 for hacking phones.

Coulson has always denied knowing about illegal activity at the paper he ran. He said he quit because he was responsible as editor for what his staff did. He was snapped up by Cameron shortly after he left the Murdoch paper.

Coulson was arrested separately by London police last year on suspicion of conspiracy to hack phones and to bribe officials. He is free on bail.

Phone hacking at News of the World has sparked three investigations by police in London, two parliamentary investigations and a judge-led independent inquiry. The newspaper was closed in July 2011.

CNN's Roger Clark contributed to this report.

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