The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 20, 2012
 

Ex-Cameron aide to be charged over royal data bribes

 
 

LONDON - Mr David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson will be charged with conspiring to pay officials for private information on the royal family during his time as a tabloid editor, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The prosecutor's decision is a blow to the reputation of the British prime minister who has been forced to defend his hiring of Mr Coulson since a phone-hacking scandal exploded last year at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid.

Critics say that Eton-educated Cameron - who meets Queen Elizabeth once a week - ignored warnings about Mr Coulson's reputation to appoint him to shape his media strategy to connect better with ordinary voters.

Since resigning in 2011, Mr Coulson has been charged with conspiracy to hack into phone messages and perjury, possible first steps to what would be politically charged court cases. He said in a statement he would fight the latest charges in court.