British police file new evidence on phone-hacking scandal

12th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

British police said they had sent new evidence to prosecutors Friday over claims of phone-hacking at a newspaper when it was edited by the man who is now Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief.

The announcement came just over a week after Andy Coulson voluntarily attended a meeting with officers from London's Metropolitan Police and was interviewed as a witness.

"The Metropolitan Police Service has today provided a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) relating to new material in connection with phone hacking," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

"This file will now be subject to CPS consideration."

Police did not give further details.

Coulson edited the News of the World at a time when the royal correspondent of the Sunday tabloid was jailed for conspiracy to access mobile phone messages involving princes William and Harry.

While Coulson resigned from the newspaper in 2007 over the affair, becoming communications chief for Cameron's Conservatives six months later, he has always insisted he did not know about the phone-hacking or authorise its use.

A police investigation into the hacking was revived after a former reporter at the tabloid, Sean Hoare, told the New York Times in September that Coulson had "actively encouraged" him to hack phone messages.

Cameron's Downing Street office confirmed last week that Coulson voluntarily attended a meeting with police officers at a London solicitor's office on November 4 and was interviewed as a witness, adding that he was not cautioned or arrested.

Coulson is a former showbusiness reporter who rose rapidly through the ranks at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun and News of the World, being made editor of the Sunday tabloid at the age of 34.

He played a key role in securing the backing of The Sun for the party ahead of Britain's general election in May.

When the Conservatives entered government in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, Coulson joined Cameron's team in Downing Street on an annual salary of 140,000 pounds (226,000 dollars, 165,000 euros).

© 2010 AFP

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