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June 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

After a 130-day trial, Andy Coulson, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s former press secretary and the former editor of the News of the World, has been convicted of conspiring to hack the phones of celebrities and officials during his tenure at the now-defunct tabloid. The jury was unable to reach unanimous verdicts on two other charges faced by Coulson, and the judge instructed them to continue their deliberations. He informed them that they could return with a less-than-unanimous verdict. Coulson’s predecessor at News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, a protégé of Rupert Murdoch and the former head of his News International, was cleared of all charges, including phone hacking and conspiring to subvert the course of justice. Following the verdict, Cameron told reporters that he had made "the wrong decision" when he hired Coulson. "I gave someone a second chance. It turned out to be a bad decision." However, Labor Party leader Ed Miliband said an apology was not enough and accused Cameron of kowtowing to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News of the World. "He put his relationship with Rupert Murdoch ahead of doing the right thing when it came to Andy Coulson," Miliband said. "I think David Cameron must do much more than an apology — he owes the country an explanation." Meanwhile, the London Financial Times reported today (Tuesday) that New Corp provided Brooks with a $25-million "golden parachute" when she was forced to step down following the hacking scandal.