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Ex-News of the World editor sentenced to 18 months in jail for phone hacking

Former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson leaves the Old Bailey courthouse in London June 24, 2014. A jury at London's Old Bailey court cleared Rebekah Brooks unanimously but found Andy Coulson guilty of conspiring to intercept messages to break news about royalty, celebrities and victims of crime.

NEIL HALL/REUTERS

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, a onetime aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for participating in a conspiracy to hack the phones of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

Three other former journalists and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire all received shorter sentences on Friday.

Coulson was convicted last week after an eight-month trial stemming from revelations of illegal eavesdropping at the now-defunct Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid.

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Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, and four others were acquitted.

Coulson faces a retrial on two charges of bribing police officers for royal phone directories.

The defendants have said they did not know phone hacking was illegal, though the judge said they knew it was "morally wrong."

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