The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times

LONDON — A former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, already convicted of conspiring to hack into private cellphones, is to be retried on bribery charges, prosecutors said Monday.
Andy Coulson will face a jury again to defend himself from allegations that, as editor of one of Britain’s most notorious tabloids, he and a reporter paid police officers for a phone directory of the royal household. The first jury was unable to agree on a verdict on those charges last week, resulting in a mistrial.

But the panel did find Coulson guilty of conspiring to tap into private cellphone messages. Investigators say that journalists at the News of the World, before and during Coulson’s tenure as editor, hacked into the phones of hundreds of people in order to land scoops and discover details of the private lives of celebrities, politicians, and even crime victims.

Coulson, 46, faces sentencing for that conviction later this week. He could spend up to two years in prison.

He was the only person convicted in a months-long trial of seven people accused of wrongdoing in the phone-hacking scandal. The defendants were variously accused of intercepting voicemail messages, paying public officials for information, and trying to thwart the police investigation into the allegations.

The most prominent of the seven on trial, Rebekah Brooks, Coulson’s predecessor as editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World, was acquitted of all charges. Brooks, a close confidante of Murdoch’s, was forced to resign as head of his British newspaper empire when the scandal erupted three years ago upon revelations that the hacking victims included a 13-year-old kidnapped girl.

Coulson’s conviction is a major embarrassment for Cameron, the prime minister, who hired Coulson as his chief spin doctor. Cameron has apologized in Parliament for what he acknowledges was a bad decision, but insists that Coulson misled him about his record as editor of News of the World.

Cameron’s political foes have criticized him for bringing a criminal into the heart of 10 Downing St.

Coulson is to be retried on the bribery charge along with former reporter Clive Goodman, who has already served a prison term for hacking into the cellphones of aides to the royal family.
During the trial, Goodman admitted on the witness stand that he had hacked into the phones of Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, nearly 200 times.

AFP Photo / Justin Tallis

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Stephen Colbert Returns To Mocking His Favorite Target

Ever since the Republican party was hijacked by a clownish, failed businessman and reality tv host turned fascist dictator, many on the left have pined for the simpler days of George W. Bush. Putting aside his obvious failure of a lifetime in launching a brutal, unnecessary, and costly war in Iraq, the not-so-bright former president would probably be considered a leftist by today's deranged Republican party of rabble-rousing misfits. Stephen Colbert, like many of us comedians at the time, took great pleasure in jostling George Bush over his failures in Iraq.

Although he has since dropped his more arcane Colbert Report far-right character after taking over hosting duties at the Late Show, Colbert is as political as ever. Having been said, Colbert mocked George W Bush, who gave a speech in Dallas on Wednesday for an event called “Elections – A More Perfect Union”, which focused on how elections work.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Ted Cruz

A group of lawyers has submitted a 15-page ethics complaint to the State Bar of Texas demanding an investigation of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his “leading role” in the far-reaching Republican effort to keep former President Trump in power despite his reelection loss.

The complaint — filed by the 65 Project, an organization of lawyers seeking to hold attorneys accountable for lending a hand in pro-Trump efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — called for an examination of Cruz’s conduct in the weeks before Election Day in 2020 and on January 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol insurrection.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}