Former news of the World editor Andy Coulson has been acquitted of committing perjury during the trial of ex-MSP Tommy Sheridan after his legal team successfully argued there was no case to answer.
Coulson, 47, was accused of lying about his knowledge of phone hacking at the now-closed tabloid, which was owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He had claimed that he did not know about phone hacking at the newspaper until Clive Goodman was arrested for the offence in 2006.
At the Edinburgh high court, Judge Lord Burns ruled that the Crown had not shown that the evidence provided by Coulson at Sheridan’s 2010 trial was relevant.
The judge told the jury that after two days of legal submissions, the Crown had not satisfied him that Coulson’s evidence was relevant to Sheridan’s trial, and so he did not have a case to answer for perjury.
Coulson was formerly acquitted on Monday, but the acquittal and reporting of the decision were suspended pending the Crown’s decision on whether it would appeal. No appeal was made.
Elsewhere, prosecutors have also dropped charges against two other News of the World executives, Bob Bird and Douglas Wight.