10/12/2010

No Criminal Charge Over Phone-Hacking Claims

Following an investigation into phone hacking claims at the News of the World David Cameron's Director of Communications, Andy Coulson, will not be facing criminal charges.

Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, said that no evidence existed to formally charge anyone.

The QC said Sean Hoare, a former News of the World reporter, made claims in a New York Times article that Mr Coulson was questioned by police under caution but would not comment.

Other witnesses "either refused to co-operate with the police investigation, provided short statements which did not advance matters, or denied any knowledge of wrongdoing".

Mr Starmer added: "The contents of the reports in the New York Times and the associated reports and coverage are not enough for criminal proceedings unless those making allegations are prepared to provide the police with admissible evidence to support their assertions.

"None have been prepared to do so."

Any further allegations that are made will be investigated by a panel of police officers and prosecutors.

Today Mr Coulson told the court: "I don't accept there was a culture of phone hacking at the News of the World.

"As far as my reporters were concerned they were to work within the law and to work within the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) code."

(BMcN/GK)


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