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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Andy Coulson arrested and charged, time for Tommy Sheridan’s conviction to be quashed

With the excellent news of Andy Coulson being arrested and charged on suspicion of purgery during the former Scottish socialist party leader Tommy Sheridan’s trial.
Prime Minister David Cameron's former director of communications Andy Coulson has been arrested by police and charged with perjury.
Mr Coulson, 44, has now been released, after being detained at his London home at 06:30 BST by Strathclyde Police.
He arrived at a police station in Glasgow shortly before 15:30 BST.
Mr Coulson was formally arrested on Wednesday evening as part of an investigation into evidence at the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.
He left the police station at 21.30 BST on Wednesday evening.
A Crown Office spokesman said there was no legal obligation for Coulson to stay in Scotland, and he was free to return to his home in London.
The spokesman said no date had been set for any court appearance.
Earlier, 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 gave evidence at the perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan in 2010.
Mr Coulson was called to give evidence at Sheridan's trial as he was editor of the News of the World between 2003 and 2007.

This was posted earlier from the defend Tommy Sheridan campaign
The Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign is delighted at the arrest of Andy Coulson in London today, for committing perjury in the High Court in Glasgow during the trial of Tommy & Gail Sheridan in 2010.

This is a hugely significant development, given that it comes after an exhaustive investigation by Officers of Strathclyde Police’s ‘Operation Rubicon’.

Mr Sheridan has been regularly briefed by Strathclyde Police Officers over the past 10 months, as the primary complainant in Operation Rubicon, which was instigated after a dossier of evidence, was furnished to them in July 2011, by his then solicitor Aamer A war and Tom Watson MP.

Throughout his trial, Mr Sheridan consistently argued that he was being hacked by the News of the World and that senior executives at News International were conspiring against him. This was denied by Andy Coulson.

It now appears that Strathclyde Police have evidence that lead them to believe him to be lying.

Fiona MacDonald, Secretary of the Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign said: “It now appears that Mr Coulson’s evidence was nothing but bare-faced lies. Tommy, his family, his friends and his supporters have consistently said that this was the case. Mr Coulson’s arrest has vindicated all of us. We look forward now to seeing justice prevail and for Tommy’s conviction to be overturned.

Ken Ross, Chair of the Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign said: “The offence of perjury has a very high bar. To be charged with this offence means that the lies told under oath must be seen as being pertinent to the outcome of the case. Given that Strathclyde Police appear now to have taken this view, by the sheer fact that they have arrested Mr Coulson for Perjury, this must surely mean that Tommy now has substantial grounds to appeal his conviction.

“Mr Coulson and his colleagues have wrecked peoples’ lives for years. The net is now closing in on them. We await with relish his conviction and that of others at News International.

**ENDS**

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