News of the World Scotland editor charged with perjury, hacking

Friday, August 17, 2012

The former news editor at the now-defunct News of the World's Scottish division has been charged with perjury, conspiring to hack telephones, and breaching data protection legislation.

Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan features prominently in the inquiry, with Wight the second man to be accused of lying at his trial.

Strathclyde Police made the announcement yesterday that Douglas Wight, 39, has been arrested and charged as part of the force's probe into phone-hacking in Scotland, dubbed Operation Rubicon. The investigation encompasses possible perjury at the trial of Tommy Sheridan, a former Member of the Scottish Parliament who was himself tried for perjury in late 2010. Sheridan was convicted of lying during an earlier defamation case against the News of the World.

Wight is now accused of lying at that trial, as well as a plot to hack phones in Scotland, and a number of allegations relating to unlawful acquisition of private data. Wight, who lives in London, attended a Glaswegian police station yesterday at the police's request. He left last night and is not due in court today; a report is being prepared for the local procurator fiscal (prosecutor).

The charges follow Andy Coulson, who served as communications chief to David Cameron, being charged in May with perjury at the same trial. Sheridan was ultimately jailed for three years and released after serving one; he continues to protest his innocence. It followed a successful defamation case before the Court of Session in 2006, at which Sheridan was awarded £200,000 over allegations in the paper of sexual infidelity; his wife Gail was also tried in 2010 but cleared of lying in the case.