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Coulson GUILTY of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006

Rebekah Brooks walks free from Old Bailey

Old Bailey Lady Justice

Andy Coulson, the ex-News of the World editor and erstwhile spin doctor to Prime Minister David Cameron, has been found guilty at the Old Bailey in London of conspiring to hack phones.

Former News International boss Rebekah Brooks was cleared on all counts of hacking into voicemails, bribery and perverting the course of justice in court today, the BBC reported.

Brooks had been the editor of both daily tabloid The Sun (from 2003 to 2009) and the now-defunct News of the World (from 2000 to 2003). The NotW was the Sunday redtop at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

She walked free from the Old Bailey today, following an eight-month long trial. Brooks was cleared of all four charges against her.

Brooks' husband Charlie, her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter and News International's former head of security, Mark Hanna, were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Stuart Kuttner, the one-time managing editor of the Sunday tabloid - which Murdoch closed down in July 2011 - was found not guilty of conspiring to hack phones.

Coulson faces jail, however, after being found guilty by a jury of phone-hacking conspiracy for most of the period that he served as deputy editor (from 2000 to 2003) and later as editor (2003 to 2007) at the NotW.

The jury has yet to deliver its verdict against Coulson on another charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. Clive Goodman, who was the royal editor of the NotW, is also awaiting a verdict on the same charge. Prosecutors allege that Goodman and Coulson conspired to pay public officials for illicitly obtained information. ®

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