Coulson Listened to Hacked Voicemails

A senior journalist at News of the World alleges that Andy Coulson, now the media adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, personally listened to the hacked phone messages of public figures when he was an editor there. Another source, Sean Hoare, a show business reporter, goes further, telling The New York Times that Coulson “actively encouraged” him to hack voicemail accounts. Coulson has denied knowing anything about the illegal eavesdropping that went on at the paper. The program on which the allegations are going to air, Channel Four Dispatches, also includes sources saying that politicians and police are intimidated by the owner of News of the World, Rupert Murdoch’s News International. One of the MPs on the media committee says he stopped voting to call News International’s chief executive as a witness when “I was told by a senior Conservative member of the committee, who I knew was in direct contact with executives at News International, that if we went for her, they would go for us—effectively that they would delve into our personal lives in order to punish them."