British PM's former aide due at police station: reports

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Andy Coulson, the former media chief of British Prime Minister David Cameron, is due to be questioned by police Friday over the News of the World scandal, reports said.

Britain's Press Association news agency reported that Coulson had an appointment to meet detectives at a central London police station later Friday.

The website of The Times newspaper, a stablemate of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, initially reported that Coulson had arrived at West End Central police, but it later retracted the report.

London's Metropolitan Police refused to give any confirmation. A police source told AFP: "As far as I am aware he has not arrived yet."

The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday that Coulson would be arrested and then bailed over the hacking scandal.

At a press conference on Friday Cameron faced a string of questions about his decision to hire Coulson, who previously edited the News of the World at the time much of the alleged hacking took place.

The paper now will shut on Sunday following an uproar over the claims.

Cameron said he took "full responsibility" for the decision to hire Coulson months after he had resigned from the News of the World in 2007 after its correspondent and a private investigator were jailed for conspiracy to access mobile phone messages involving Princes William and Harry.

Coulson denied having any knowledge of the hacking but police interviewed him as a witness last year after a journalist said Coulson had encouraged him to hack voicemails.

Coulson quit in January amid renewed pressure over the scandal.

© 2011 AFP

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