A former News Of The World show business reporter who said that Andy Coulson personally encouraged phone hacking when he was editor was found dead at home the Guardian reports. The paper says that police are treating the death of Sean Hoare as “unexplained” but “not suspicious,” suggesting that it may have been a suicide. Hoare made his charges against Coulson, who went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman, to The New York Times last year for a magazine story about the phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper. He was quoted as saying that Coulson “actively encouraged me” to hack into other people’s cell phone messages. At the time, Coulson responded that he ”never condoned the use of phone hacking and nor do I have any recollection of incidences where phone hacking took place.” NOTW Managing Editor Bill Akass told The Times “we reject absolutely” that the paper’s higher-ups approved hacking and accused the paper of running a story based on “unsubstantiated claims” – in part to run down a competitor.
But last week Hoare told The Times that “the chain of command is one of absolute discipline and that’s why I never bought into it, like with Andy saying he wasn’t aware of it and all that. That’s bollocks.” He added: “There’s more to come. This is not going to go away…what you’ll find now is a lot of people are going to want to cover their arse.”