Former tabloid editor sues for legal fees

Sept. 24, 2011 at 1:34 AM

LONDON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Andy Coulson, former spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron, is suing Rupert Murdoch's news company, his lawyer said Friday.

Jo Rickards, a partner in the firm defending Coulson against charges arising from the phone hacking scandal, would only confirm a lawsuit was filed Thursday that claims News Group Newspapers breached its contract with Coulson, the Financial Times reported. But the business newspaper cited sources close to the case who said Coulson wants News Group to pay for his defense.

Coulson resigned as editor of News of the World in 2007 after a reporter for the tabloid and a private detective working for it were convicted of hacking into cellphones used by members of the royal family. At the time, he denied any knowledge of the hacking.

The scandal was reignited this summer when The Guardian reported suspected hacking targets included Milly Dowler, a schoolgirl who was abducted and later found dead. Coulson was one of 16 people arrested.

The company has reportedly said it would continue to pay Coulson's legal expenses for appearances before parliamentary investigators but not for his criminal defense.

Cameron hired Coulson about six months after he left the News of the World. He resigned this year and Murdoch folded the tabloid.

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