Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World who was ensnared in the ongoing phone-hacking scandal, has been released on police. He was arrested earlier on suspicion of having bribed police officers, corruption, as well as phone-hacking.
According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Coulson was interrogated by detectives and denied he knew of any phone hacking while he served as the doomed tabloid’s editor.
However, he also said he will take ultimate responsibility for the scandal.
Separately, plainclothes police officials are believed to have entered and searched Coulson’s Forest Hill, South London home and retrieved materials from the premises.
Police believe the paper hacked the phones of about 4,000 people, including celebrities and crime victims.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has found himself embroiled in this huge scandal due to his close ties with Coulson (who served as Cameron’s top communications aide) and another top News of the World executive, Rebekah Brooks.
Cameron defended his association with the embattled Coulson.
I became friends with him and I think he did his job for me in a very effective way. He became a friend and he is a friend, the Prime Minister said. I decided to give him a second chance but the second chance didn't work. The decision to hire him was mine and mine alone, and I take full responsibility for it.
However, Cameron appeared to have distanced himself from Brooks, questioning her continued presence as chief executive of News International, the company that owns News of the World. She served as editor of the paper during the period when it is alleged the phone of Milly Dowler – later found murdered – was hacked.
Cameron’s principal political opponent, Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, blasted the prime minister.
His wholly unconvincing answers of what he knew and when he knew it about Mr Coulson's activities undermine his ability to lead the change that Britain needs,” Miliband said, referring to Cameron.