DAVID Cameron’s former director of communications has been accused of committing perjury in the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.
Andy Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World, did not appear in person for the hearing at the High Court in Glasgow today.
It is alleged that Coulson, 46, made false claims on December 9 and 10, 2010 while under oath as a witness at the trial of Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail.
The indictment alleges that Coulson falsely deponed that before the arrest of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and News of the World journalist Clive Goodman on August 8, 2006 he did not know that Goodman was involved in phone hacking, and did so together with Mulcaire.
It claims he falsely said that he had not heard of Mulcaire and did not know that Goodman made payments to him.
It also alleges that Coulson said he was not aware of a culture of phone hacking at the News of the World, apart from a “very unfortunate case” involving Goodman.
According to the indictment Coulson was in fact aware of a number of instances of phone hacking at the News of the World between April 1, 2002 and August 8, 2006 while he was editor and acting editor of the newspaper.
These involved Milly Dowler, Kimberley Quinn or Fortier and Daniel Craig.
It also claims that between December 1, 2002 and January 26, 2007, while editor and deputy editor of the newspaper, Coulson understood that payments had been made to corrupt police officers by Goodman.
The payments included £750 in or around December 2002, £1,000 in or around January 2003 and £1,000 in or around June 2005.
These were made to procure a “green book” or other similar directories containing information including telephone numbers relating to the Royal Family and their members of staff, the indictment states.
Prosecutors allege that between October 10, 2005 and August 8, 2006 Coulson had heard of Mulcaire, who as well as being a private investigator was contracted to the News of the World newspaper.
They allege he knew that Goodman was involved in phone hacking and did so together with Mulcaire.
It is claimed that Coulson knew Goodman made payments to Mulcaire of £500 a week until February 2006 followed by payments amounting to £4,800.
The prosecution also allege that Coulson knew that Mulcaire was employed by the News of the World and had email exchanges about him with Goodman.
No pleas were entered today and another hearing was set for October.