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Ex-reporter: UK PM's former media chief heard hacked Daniel Craig message

By Richard Allen Greene and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
updated 10:09 AM EST, Tue January 28, 2014
Actor Daniel Craig at the 25th annual Producers Guild of America Awards on January 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Actor Daniel Craig at the 25th annual Producers Guild of America Awards on January 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Court hears former reporter describe hacking Daniel Craig's phone
  • Reporter says message was from actress Sienna Miller
  • Message played to editor Andy Coulson, who later became PM media chief, court hears
  • Evidence is revealed in phone hacking trial of former News of the World editors

London (CNN) -- The British Prime Minister's former media chief listened to a hacked voice mail message left by actress Sienna Miller for actor Daniel Craig, when he was editor of the now defunct News of the World tabloid, a former reporter told a London court.

Andy Coulson, editor of the Rupert Murdoch mass-selling tabloid paper until 2007 and then Prime Minister David Cameron's head of communications until 2011, heard the voice mail left for the James Bond actor, Dan Evans, a former News of the World journalist told London's Old Bailey Court on Tuesday.

The revelation came at the trial of former News of the World editors Coulson and Rebekah Brooks and the paper's former managing editor, Stuart Kuttner.

All are accused of conspiring between October 2000 and August 2006 "to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, without lawful authority."

Details of royal messages revealed
Phone hacking trial has UK media buzzing

They deny the charges.

Voice mail message

Dressed in a blue suit and red tie, Evans took the stand as a prosecution witness after pleading guilty to hacking phones.

He described how he hacked Craig's voice mail and heard a female voice saying: "Hi, it's me, I can't speak, I'm at the Groucho (club) with Jude. I love you."

Evans told the court he looked up the number and found that it was Miller's. He then said he played it for Coulson and several other senior figures at the paper.

"Later in the day, Andy came over, he wanted to hear the tape," Evans said.

"Andy told me to make a copy of the tape, put it in a jiffy bag; take it down the the front gate and say it's been dropped anonymously," Evans said.

He added that another senior figure at the paper, upon hearing the message, told Evans: "You're a company man now."

Phone hacking furor

When asked by the prosecution if he had ever had any other direct communication with Coulson concerning phone hacking, Evans said: "Not that I can think of, no."

He then listed Coulson among figures at the newspaper who he said definitely knew he was hacking into phones.

Evans also admitted to recreational drug use, and to being arrested. He said he was now clean.

On Monday, Miller's former partner, actor Jude Law, attended the trial.

The court also then heard that Evans had already admitted to conspiring to hack phones at the Sunday Mirror paper between February 2003 and January 2005, and the same offense at the News of the World up to 2010, according to Britain's Press Association news agency.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, it said.

Coulson became Cameron's top communications adviser after leaving News of the World in an earlier round of the hacking scandal. He has denied knowledge of phone hacking.

The hacking allegations prompted Cameron to set up an independent inquiry, led by Lord Justice Leveson, to make recommendations on journalistic ethics and examine the relationship of the media with the public, police and politicians.

READ: Report: Kate Middleton's phone hacked, court told

READ: 'Hundreds of attempts' made to hack UK princes' aides phones

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

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