Phone-hacking scandal: Brookes free; Coulson guilty; Cameron apologises

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Phone-hacking scandal: Brookes free; Coulson guilty; Cameron apologises

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Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brookes has walked free while Andy Coulson was found guilty of complicity in the phone-hacking scandal.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s former media chief, was found to be aware of one incident where the tabloid’s journalists hacked celebrities’ voicemails to find an exclusive story.

Political opponents have long questioned Cameron’s judgement in hiring Coulson.

The PM issued an apology.

“I take full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson,” he said. “I’m extremely sorry that I employed him, it was the wrong decision and I’m very clear about it.”

Joan Smith, the Chief Executive of the “Hacked Off” campaign for a free and accountable press, said she was pleased the scandal had been brought to the public’s attention.

“So this is not a flash in the pan. It’s something that really took root at that newspaper. And so I think it’s a really good thing that this has been exposed and that people can see that this kind of really bad journalism took root and that the systems that should have been there to stop that happening simply failed,” she said.

The scandal rocked Britain and led to the July 2011 closure of what was then Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.