Report: Police Have Proof Coulson Knew of Bribes

Evidence implicates former aide to prime minister

Scotland Yard is in possession of “cryptic financial records” proving that former News of the World editor Andy Coulson knew about illegal payments to police officers, a source told Reuters. The records corroborate payments mentioned in emails between Coulson and the tabloid’s former reporter Clive Goodman, who was found guilty of hacking.

Coulson is a key figure in the ongoing hacking scandal because, after he left the News of the World, he served as communications director to Prime Minister David Cameron. 

The cash and email records were included in a dossier put together by the law firm Harbottle & Lewis, which News International hired four years ago to look into the hacking allegations. After conducting its review, the law firm said that it hadn’t found any evidence of hacking by the newspaper’s journalists. But earlier this week, James Murdoch told Parliament that top company officials didn’t examine all of the documents until after alleged hacking victims launched civil lawsuits against the company late last year.

According to Reuters, the emails show that Coulson and Goodman agreed that an unnamed police contact should receive a “four figure sum” for leaking a confidential file known as the “green book,” which includes details about the actions, locations, and phone numbers of royal family members. Earlier this month, the BBC reported that News International had emails that included a request from Goodman to Coulson for $1600 in cash to buy the green book from a police officer who had stolen it.