Andy Coulson detained by police investigating allegations of perjury at Tommy Sheridan trial
PUBLISHED May 30, 2012
Mr Coulson, 44, David Cameron's ex-director of communications, was detained by seven officers from Strathclyde Police at his home in the Dulwich area of London at 6.30am.
He has been held for questioning over his evidence as a witness in the trial of Tommy Sheridan, the former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, in December 2010.
Mr Coulson is to be questioned in Glasgow by officers in the Operation Rubicon team, which was set up after the trial to look into allegations of phone hacking, breaches of data protection and perjury.
The trial led to Mr Sheridan being jailed for three years for lying under oath during an earlier defamation case against the News of the World in 2006, after the tabloid revealed he was a swinger and adulterer.
The left-wing politician was awarded £200,000 in damages when he won the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, but ended up in the dock accused of lying under oath.
Mr Coulson, who was serving as the Prime Minister's chief media adviser when he gave evidence, was called by Mr Sheridan, who conducted his own defence, and gave evidence over two days.
A police spokeswoman said: "Officers from Strathclyde Police's Operation Rubicon team detained a 44-year-old man in London this morning under section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Scotland act 1995 on suspicion of committing perjury before the High Court in Glasgow."
Mr Coulson told the trial he had no knowledge of illegal activities by reporters while he was editor of the tabloid newspaper, saying: "I don't accept there was a culture of phone hacking at the News of the World." He also denied knowing the paper paid corrupt police officers for tip-offs.
Prosecutors in Scotland asked Strathclyde Police to look into evidence given by witnesses at the Sheridan trial following developments in the phone hacking scandal last year.
Following the trial, Mr Sheridan's solicitor submitted a dossier to police outlining allegations about some witnesses.
Mr Sheridan claimed during the case that his mobile phone had been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective used by the Sunday tabloid.
Mulcaire was jailed in 2007, along with Clive Goodman, the paper's royal editor, for intercepting voicemail messages left for members of the Royal Family.
Last year, Mr Coulson was arrested in a separate operation linked to Scotland Yard's long-running investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the World.
He was held in July on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption and had his bail extended earlier this month.
Strathclyde Police said Mr Coulson had not been formally arrested at this stage.
Mr Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World in 2007 after the phone hacking scandal erupted. Months later, in May that year, he was named as Down Street's new director of communications and planning.
He quit the role in January 2011 after admitting the News of the World phone-hacking row was making his job impossible.