Coulson asks judge for reduction in legal fees amid claims he will cash-in on book deal
Former editor of the News of the World and Number 10 spin doctor Andy Coulson is facing a legal bill of £750,000.
Mr Coulson, 47, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last July after he was found guilty of plotting to hack people’s phones in order to gain exclusive stories after a nine-month trial.
After being released from prison Mr Coulson came to Scotland to stand trial on charges of perjury – a case which collapsed.
The Old Bailey has heard that the Crown seeks £750,000 from Mr Coulson in addition to £111,000 from Ian Edmondson, former news editor at the paper.
Alison Pople QC, for Mr Coulson, argued for the figure to be reduced to £375,000 while Mr Edmondson should not pay anything because of his poor financial standing.
But as Ms Pople was explaining why Mr Coulson ought to get a reduction Mr Justice Saunders interjected to query reports Mr Coulson is about to profit from a new book.
He said: “There has been a suggestion made Coulson might be raising a lot of money by writing a book. I have no idea but that has been written in the press.
“I would wish to be informed if there is actual or current intentions or negotiations going on as to that.”
Ms Pople replied: “So much that is written in the press is outside the scope of these applications.”
However, Mr Justice Saunders retorted: “It was raised after the case in Scotland was finished. We don’t all live in vacuums as may be suggested.”
In response, Mr Coulson’s lawyer categorically denied he is writing a book or has a book deal.
“Coulson doesn’t have a publishing agreement with any publisher. He has not been offered a publishing agreement and he is not writing a book,” Ms Pople said.