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Andy Coulson to "vigorously contest" perjury charges

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Andy Coulson

© PA Images / Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, has said that he will "vigorously contest" the charges of perjury levelled against him by Scottish police.

Coulson, the ex-head of communications to prime minister David Cameron, was charged with lying while under oath late yesterday (May 31) by Strathclyde Police.

He had been arrested earlier in the day at his home in south London and then driven to Glasgow for questioning over suspicion of lying about his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World.

In a statement, Coulson's London-based lawyers DLA Piper said: "Andy Coulson will vigorously contest the perjury allegations made against him yesterday by Strathclyde Police should they ever result in a trial. We have no further comment at this stage."

News Of The World sign
The 44-year-old was arrested as part of Strathclyde Police's Operation Rubicon, which is investigating alleged perjury by witnesses in the trial of ex-Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan.

Former Celebrity Big Brother contestant Sheridan was sent to jail for three years in 2007 for lying under oath in his successful £200,000 defamation case against the News of the World a year earlier.

Following the News of the World phone hacking scandal, the Crown Court ordered Sheridan's case to be reassessed, leading to him being released on January 30, 2012, just a year into his sentence.

Coulson, who is currently on bail but does not need to remain in Scotland, has not yet been given a court date.

Operation Rubicon said that a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal, which will then decide if Coulson is to face trial.

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