- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LONDON (AP) - The former editor of the News of the World has lost a legal bid to make the owner of the now-defunct newspaper pay his legal bills.

Andy Coulson left the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid after a reporter and a private investigator were jailed for hacking in 2007.

He became Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief but resigned when the phone hacking scandal erupted earlier this year.

On Wednesday a High Court judge ruled that Coulson’s severance agreement did not require the company to pay his costs relating to allegations of criminal behavior.

Separately Wednesday, another judge ruled that Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers had to continue paying the legal fees of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the center of the scandal.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) _ CNN celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan was an extremely hands-on U.K. tabloid editor who must have known that phone hacking was rife at his paper, a former employee claimed Wednesday.

Business journalist James Hipwell said voicemail interception was an everyday activity at the Daily Mirror tabloid, where he worked as a columnist providing stock tips.

Hipwell told a British inquiry into media ethics that while he had no direct evidence that Morgan, the Daily Mirror editor at the time, was involved in the practice, he said it was impossible to imagine that Morgan had been kept in the dark.

“Nothing happened at the newspaper without him knowing,” Hipwell testified, speaking a day after Morgan was grilled Tuesday in a tense, nationally televised hearing before the inquiry.

Before his U.S. television career, Morgan ran two British tabloids _ Murdoch's now-shuttered News of the World, between 1994 and 1995, which has been at the center of the U.K. phone hacking scandal, then the rival Daily Mirror, which is not connected to the Murdoch empire, where he stayed for nearly a decade.

Hipwell and Morgan have a long history. Both were investigated as part of an inquiry into market manipulation after it emerged that Morgan had made a quick profit of thousands of pounds (dollars) by buying shares that were promoted in the next day’s paper.

Morgan was cleared of wrongdoing, but Hipwell and another tipster, Anil Bhoyrul, were convicted in 2005. Hipwell expressed remorse over his role in the stock scam but said he always believed that his former boss had been as guilty as he was.

“I can understand why people think that I have an ax to grind against him,” Hipwell told the inquiry.

By Hipwell’s account, phone hacking was a matter of routine _ a “standard journalistic tool for gathering information.” He said journalists openly boasted about breaking into phones to intercept voicemails.

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