Andy Coulson, Prime Minister David Cameron’s former media chief and ex-editor of the News of the World tabloid, pleaded not guilty to charges related to phone hacking on Thursday
He resigned from his job as director of communications in Downing Street in 2011 as the scandal grew surrounding allegations of illegal phone hacking by journalists at the paper he edited between 2003 and 2007.
Coulson, looking relaxed and dressed in a dark suit, was in the dock at Southwark Crown Court for less than five minutes.
He denied charges of unlawful interception of voicemail messages and to conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
The charges involve allegedly making payments for information to public officials and hacking into phone messages to find material for news stories.
Rebekah Brooks, a former top executive in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and Coulson’s predecessor at the News of the World, also denied charges related to phone hacking in court on Wednesday.
The hacking scandal forced the closure of the mass-selling paper, and a year-long public inquiry into journalistic practices sent shockwaves through the British establishment as it laid bare the close links between media, police and politicians.