Former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey courthouse in London. REUTERS/Neil Hall
David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson told a London
court today he had not listened to hacked voicemail messages
that exposed an affair between actress Sienna Miller and
James Bond star Daniel Craig.
Coulson, who was Cameron's head of communications until 2011,
is charged with conspiracy to hack phones of high-profile
celebrities and politicians whilst he was editor of Rupert
Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid.
The Old Bailey jury has previously heard that Dan Evans, a
former reporter at the paper and self-confessed phone hacker,
played Coulson a voicemail message left on Craig's phone by
Miller in 2005. The message revealed that Miller, then
girlfriend of actor Jude Law, was having an affair with
Coulson said he never heard the message and was not aware of
the practice of hacking.
"In 2005 I'm not sure I knew the phrase 'hacking voicemail,'"
he said. "I'm not sure that was a phrase that was in my mind
until much, much later."
Timothy Langdale, defending, said Evans claimed to have
played the message to Coulson at a meeting in London, when
the then editor was actually in Brighton attending the Labour
The court was shown a copy of Coulson's diary from 2005 with
appointments to meet leading politicians, including then
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, during the
"I wouldn't have cancelled any of those appointments," said
Coulson. "It was the purpose of me being there, to have those
The 46-year-old denied that references made by other News of
the World editors to "special checks" made by Evans to
investigate the story were a reference to phone-hacking.
"It is an indication to me that he has some sources, or a
source," said Coulson. "I think all reporters think their
checks are special."
Coulson, who also faces charges over authorising illegal
payments to public officials, is on trial alongside six
others, including the former head of Murdoch's British
newspaper arm Rebekah Brooks. They all deny the charges.
The jury was shown an email from the paper's then royal
editor Clive Goodman, who was convicted of phone hacking in
2007, asking Coulson to sign off cash payments to a police
officer for a royal household telephone directory.
"They won't take anything other than cash. If discovered
selling stuff to us they can end up on criminal charges, as
can we," Goodman said in an extract from the email read out
Coulson said he agreed to the payment as he believed Goodman
was exaggerating and had a reputation for creating
He said: "I didn't believe Clive Goodman was paying a
policeman. I still don't believe that Clive Goodman paid a
policeman. I didn't believe him and I rubber-stamped it."
The trial continues.