Ex-News Of The World Editor Andy Coulson Freed From Prison

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor, leaves the Central Criminal Court in London on June 25. He was released from prison on Friday after serving less than five months of his 18-month sentence for conspiring to intercept voicemails. (AP)

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who was found guilty of conspiracy to hack personal voicemails, was released today after serving less than five months of his 18-month sentence.

British news reports say that as a condition of early release, Coulson, 46, will have to wear an electronic tag for the remainder of his sentence.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice quoted by The Guardian said: "Public protection is our first priority. Only prisoners who pass a strict risk assessment can be released on HDC. Offenders on HDC are subject to strict licence conditions and can be recalled to prison if they breach them."

As we've previously told you, the phone hacking scandal broke in 2010, revealing that the now-defunct News of the World tabloid had hacked the voicemails of more than 1,000 people, including members of the British royal family.

The revelations forced Coulson to resign as Prime Minister David Cameron's communications director. At the subsequent trial, Coulson was found guilty while his former boss, Rebekah Brooks, was cleared.

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