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'Do His Phone,' Hacking British Tabloid Editor Andy Coulson Instructed

Image: 'Do His Phone,' Hacking British Tabloid Editor Andy Coulson Instructed From left, Andy Coulson, Ian Edmondson, and Calum Best.

By Clyde Hughes   |  

When Andy Coulson was News of the World editor, he ordered a senior journalist to "do his phone" and hack British television celebrity Calum Best, according to testimony Friday.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis said that Coulson emailed the order to News of the World's Ian Edmondson, during a time when the publication feared a competitor would break the story about the son of George Best and a woman, according to the BBC News. 

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Eight editors and reporters from the now-defunct News of the World, including Coulson, editor of the tabloid from 2003-07, and Rebekah Brooks, editor from 2000-03, are on trial for illegally hacking the telephones of celebrities, politicians and other newsworthy subjects.

The woman was willing to sell her story that Calum Best was the father of her child in 2006 and News of the World was trying to make headway in its investigation, Edis said, but there were fears the story would be leaked elsewhere.

The late George Best was a former superstar for Manchester United football club, one of the world's top franchises.

Edis told the court that when reporters and editors received tips about stories, they would hack subjects' cellphones as a means of checking out the story before confronting them.

Some of the alleged targets included former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller, a former aide to Prince William and Prince Harry, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.

The Guardian reported that News of the World hacked the phones of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills "for years," which prosecutors say allowed them to publish a story about a wedding ring in 2002. 

Brooks once told the former wife of PGA golfer Colin Montgomerie how easy it would be to hack mobile phone voicemails, Edis said. Brooks gave Montgomerie's wife the example of a story involving 2002 story of McCartney and Mills talking about an engagement ring as proof.

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When Andy Coulson was News of the World editor, he ordered a senior journalist to "do his phone" and hack British television celebrity Calum Best, according to testimony Friday.
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