LONDON - Former News of the World editor and political spin doctor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking Tuesday, but fellow editor Rebekah Brooks was acquitted after a lengthy trial centering on illegal activity at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire. A jury on Tuesday unanimously found Coulson, who served as communications adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron after leaving the paper, guilty of conspiring to intercept communications. Brooks, the former chief executive of Murdoch's News International, was acquitted of that charge and of counts of bribing officials and obstructing police.
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The nearly eight-month trial was triggered by revelations that for years the News of the World used illegal eavesdropping to get stories, listening in on the voicemails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims. Three others — Brooks' husband Charles Brooks, her former secretary Cheryl Carter and News International security chief Mark Hanna — were acquitted of perverting the course of justice by attempting to hide evidence from police.