British PM's ex-media chief denies phone hacking
British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief, Andy Coulson, appeared in court in London on Thursday to formally deny charges related to phone hacking and bribery of public officials.
Coulson, 45, is a former editor of the News of the World, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid shut down in 2011 after a scandal over the illegal access of the voicemails of public figures.
Appearing at Southwark Crown Court, Coulson pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiring with others to intercept mobile phone voicemail messages between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006.
He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, which arose from a police investigation into alleged illegal payments to public officials.
He is accused of conspiring with the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman and others between August 31, 2002, and January 31, 2003, and also between January 31, 2005, and June 3, 2005.
Coulson was released again on bail and his case adjourned.
Goodman, 55, appeared in court on Wednesday where he denied two related counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Another former News of the World editor, Rebekah Brooks, who rose to become chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper unit, News International, also appeared in court on Wednesday.
Brooks, 45, denied five charges including conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
She appeared alongside her husband Charlie, who denied a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the case. They both attended court again on Thursday for preliminary hearings.
Also in court on Thursday was Ian Edmondson, 44, a former news editor at the News of the World. He denied one charge of conspiring to hack phones and was granted bail.
© 2013 AFP