Andy Coulson guilty of phone hacking

LONDON - Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones.

Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges in the phone-hacking trial.

Coulson went on to become director of communications for David Cameron. The prime minister has now apologised for making the appointment.

Royals, celebrities and victims of crime were among those whose phones were hacked by the News of the World.

Speaking after the verdicts were delivered, Mr Cameron gave a "full and frank" apology, saying: "It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that."

Coulson and Mrs Brooks were among seven defendants on trial at the Old Bailey.

The verdicts in full are:

Andy Coulson was found guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails

Mrs Brooks was found not guilty of conspiracy to hack voicemails, two counts of conspiracy to pay public officials and two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner was found not guilty of conspiring to hack voicemails

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

BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron will be "closely watched to see if he makes the apology he promised he would three years ago".

Rebekah and Charlie Brooks were cleared on the 138th day of the trial

"I understand the prime minister is preparing to make an apology.. To explain why he... decided to give the former editor of the NoW a second chance," he said.

An emotional Mrs Brooks had to be taken away by the court matron on hearing the verdicts.

BBC political correspondent Robin Brant was in court as the verdicts were read out on the 138th day of the trial.

He said Coulson stood with his hands behind his back and showed no emotion as the verdict was returned.

Mrs Brooks appeared to mouth "thank you" to the jury and also held the hand of her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, who looked close to tears.

Charlie Brooks, the husband of the former News International chief executive, also showed little emotion.

There was silence in court on instruction of the judge as the verdicts were delivered by the jury forewoman. Some 70 people were present in the room at the time.

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