Sunday 23 October 2016

Journalist cleared of phone hacking


The News of the World's former deputy editor tearfully accused police and prosecutors of a "vicious politically-driven" campaign against the press after he was cleared of being part of the phone-hacking plot.

Neil Wallis, who was editor Andy Coulson's right-hand man between 2003 and 2007, was on trial accused of being part of the scandal which led to the Sunday tabloid shutting down in July 2011.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for four days before finding 64-year-old Mr Wallis (inset below), of Chiswick, west London, not guilty of conspiring to hack phones.


As he walked free from court, Mr Wallis told reporters that the case had "ruined" his life, as he deflected blame from his old boss Coulson and heaped it on to Operation Weeting detectives and the Crown Prosecution Service.

"Four years. Four years after I was arrested, I finally walk out of here a free man," Mr Wallis said. "It's cost me and my family most of our life savings.

"It's ruined my life all because of a vicious politically-driven campaign against the press."

Mr Wallis is the last of the journalists from the tabloid to face legal action over the hacking it deployed in the hunt for exclusive stories on celebrities, royals and politicians.

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