FORMER government spin doctor Andy Coulson appeared in court today to face charges over an alleged conspiracy to bribe public officials for information.
Coulson, 45, is accused with ex-News of the World (NOTW) royal correspondent Clive Goodman of requesting and authorising payments to public officials in exchange for information, including a royal phone directory known as the “Green Book”.
Former NOTW editor Coulson, from Kent, and Goodman, 55, from Surrey, face two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office – one between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and the other between January 31 and June 3 2005.
Wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and black tie, Coulson appeared for a short hearing along with Goodman and the case was adjourned until next month.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 44, from Churchill, Oxfordshire, also appeared at the Old Bailey to face charges in relation to a separate case.
The matter was also adjourned until next month.
Sun chief reporter John Kay, 69, from north-west London, entered a not guilty plea to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
The cases have been brought as part of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged inappropriate payments and information leaks.
In a separate case, a former police officer pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office.
And in another matter, a public official admitted misconduct in public office.