Hacking 'widely discussed' at UK tabloid: ex-reporter
Phone hacking was "widely discussed" at the News of the World and ex-editor Andy Coulson sought to cover it up, the British tabloid's disgraced former royal reporter said in a letter published Tuesday.
Clive Goodman, who was jailed for hacking in 2007, alleged that Coulson, who went on to work for Prime Minister David Cameron, had offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court.
The explosive accusation comes in a letter written by Goodman in March 2007 to appeal against his dismissal from the News of the World after being jailed. the letter was released by parliament's media committee on Tuesday.
"This practice (phone hacking) was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor (Coulson)," Goodman wrote.
He added that the newspaper's senior legal manager, Tom Crone, and Coulson "promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of the staff in my mitigation plea.
"I did not, and I expect the paper to honour its promise."
Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World after Goodman and a private detective were jailed and has always denied any knowledge of hacking.
He went on to work for Cameron as his media chief, but was forced to resign in January amid continuing allegations that the practice went beyond one rogue reporter while he was at the helm.
© 2011 AFP