Cash records, email suggest Coulson knew of bribes – source

LONDON,  (Reuters)- Scotland Yard investigators have  cryptic financial records corroborating suspicions that former  News of the World editor Andy Coulson knew about illegal  payments to police officers, a source with knowledge of the  matter told Reuters.

Andy Coulson

The cash records tally with payments suggested in an email  discussion between Coulson and the newspaper’s disgraced royal  correspondent, Clive Goodman.

Cash and email records were part of a dossier compiled by  a London law firm which News International, parent company of  Rupert Murdoch’s London newspaper holdings, hired four years ago  to look into allegations of phone hacking by News of the World  journalists. The inquiry was launched after Goodman and a  private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, were arrested and convicted  for hacking into the voicemails of aides to members of Britain’s  royal Family. The two were jailed for several months for  conspiracy to access phone messages.

After conducting its review, the law firm, Harbottle &  Lewis, told the company it had found no evidence of hacking by  other News of the World journalists. But James Murdoch, who  until earlier this year ran News International, told parliament  earlier this week that top company officials did not examine all  the documentation until after civil lawsuits from alleged  hacking victims began to gather steam late last year.

News International said late on Wednesday it had released  Harbottle & Lewis from its obligations of client confidentiality  so the law firm could answer questions from the police and  parliament about what it had been asked to do. Harbottle & Lewis  did not respond to requests for comment.

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